Buffel in training with Belgium in 2006
|Full name||Thomas Buffel|
|Date of birth||19 February 1981|
|Place of birth||Brugge, Belgium|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Playing position||Attacking midfielder|
|2000–2002||→ Excelsior (loan)||63||(27)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 16:14, 12 February 2013 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Thomas Buffel (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈtoː.mɑs ˈbʏ.fəɫ], born 19 February 1981 in Brugge, Belgium) is a Belgian footballer who plays for Jupiler League side RC Genk. He is an attacking midfielder and can play as a striker. He has played at international level for the Belgian football team.
Buffel played for the Dutch team Feyenoord in the 1999-2000 season, before moving to their feeder team Excelsior Rotterdam from 2000 to 2002. He returned to Feyenoord for the 2002-2003 Dutch season. He reportedly fell out with then-manager Ruud Gullit in the next season "after refusing to sign a new contract".
Buffel moved to the Scottish side Rangers in January 2005 in a £2.3 million, four-and-a-half-year deal. He made his debut in the Scottish Cup coming on as a substitute against Old Firm rivals Celtic in what was to be a 2-1 defeat. However the season did not end badly for him as he was to play a key role in the 2005 Scottish League Cup Final, where Rangers defeated Motherwell 5-1. He also featured in the Rangers team for the latter part of the season where he would help them to their 51st league title. Making it a double for his first season with the club, he also scored five goals is 18 appearances.
Buffel featured in the Champions League and helped Rangers reach the last 16 of the tournament, where they lost to Villarreal 3-3 on aggregate and were knocked out on away goals rule. He scored seven goals in 38 appearances during the 2005-2006 season mostly playing in the midfield.
In the during the 2007 January transfer window, German club Hannover 96 expressed an interest in him, with Rangers manager Walter Smith saying Buffel was free to leave. However, the deal fell through when Buffel was unable to agree personal terms with the Bundesliga side.
It was announced on 9 February 2007 that Buffel would undergo surgery on a long term knee injury and would not take any further part in the 2006-07 season. He returned to action on 26 December as a substitute in Rangers' 3-1 win over Motherwell but did not feature regularly.
In the late evening of 31 August 2009, Cercle Brugge and RC Genk came to an extensive agreement: Buffel was sold to Genk, Jelle Vossen (on loan) and Hans Cornelis made the opposite move. In the 2009-2010 season he won the award of most valuable player. This award is given annually to the player who is considered to perform the best in the previous season. It is awarded based on votes by the fans of KRC Genk. At domestic level 2010-2011, Thomas Buffel won its second champions title. The championship was confirmed on the final day of the season when they beat Standard Liege.
Buffel made his debut for Belgium against Andorra in October 2002 in what was to be a 1-0 victory. He has since then gained 35 caps and scored 7 goals. In recent times he is still in the picture as a player of the Belgian national football team.
|1||30 April 2003||Stade Roi Baudouin, Brussels||Poland||3 – 1||Won||Friendly|
|2||11 October 2003||Stade Maurice Dufrasne, Liège||Estonia||2 – 0||Won||Euro 2004 Qualification|
|3||18 August 2004||Ullevaal, Oslo||Norway||2 – 2||Drawn||Friendly|
|4||18 August 2004||Ullevaal, Oslo||Norway||2 – 2||Drawn||Friendly|
|5||26 March 2005||Stade Roi Baudouin, Brussels||Bosnia and Herzegovina||4 – 1||Won||2006 World Cup Qualification|
|6||7 September 2005||Olympisch Stadion, Antwerp||San Marino||8 – 0||Won||2006 World Cup Qualification|
- "Rangers just fan-tastic". Glasgow Evening Times. 6 January 2005.
- "Rangers secure Buffel signature". BBC Sport website. 5 January 2005.
- "Celtic 2-1 Rangers". BBC Sport website. 9 January 2005.
- "Rangers 5-1 Motherwell". BBC Sport website. 20 March 2005.
- "Buffel Bundesliga move collapses". BBC Sport Website. 31 January 2007.
- Buffel exits Rangers for Cercle on BBC news, 1 July 2008
- "Andorra 0-1 Belgium". UEFA.com. 12 October 2002.
- Thomas Buffel career stats at Soccerbase
- Official Site of Thomas Buffel (News, video, pictures, biography, statistics, etc.)
- Thomas Buffel at National-Football-Teams.com
- Belgium stats at Belgian FA