Jan Ceulemans

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Jan Ceulemans
Jan Ceulemans.jpg
Ceulemans in 1980
Personal information
Full name Jan Anna Gumaar Ceulemans
Date of birth (1957-02-28) 28 February 1957 (age 62)
Place of birth Lier, Belgium
Height 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)[1]
Playing position Attacking midfielder
Youth career
1967–1974 Lierse
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1974–1978 Lierse 110 (39)
1978–1992 Club Brugge 407 (191)
Total 517 (230)
National team
1977–1991 Belgium 96 (23)
Teams managed
1992–1996 K.S.C. Eendracht Aalst
1997–1999 Ingelmunster
1999–2005 Westerlo
2005–2006 Club Brugge
2007–2012 Westerlo
2013–2014 Cappellen
2015 Deinze
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Jan Anna Gumaar Ceulemans (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈjɑn ˈkøːləˌmɑns]; born 28 February 1957 in Lier, Belgium) is a former Belgian footballer who played as an attacking midfielder. A prolific goalscorer, Ceulemans was well known for his stamina, aerial ability and technique. He was also known for his power, imposing frame and natural authority.[2]

He is his country's fourth most capped player with 96 international appearances. Most of his time with Belgium took place under the guidance of Guy Thys. This period saw the Belgium squad record some of their finest results, which include reaching the final of Euro 80 and fourth place at the 1986 FIFA World Cup.[3]


Ceulemans' first of three World Cup appearances was at the 1982 FIFA World Cup, where Belgium beat the defending champions Argentina 1–0 in the opening game of the tournament at Camp Nou en route to reaching the second round. Among one of Ceulemans' finest achievements was captaining his national side to fourth place in the 1986 FIFA World Cup, scoring three goals in the tournament including a spectacular diving header against Spain in the quarter-finals. His performance earned the nickname "Captain Courageous".[4] He retired from international competition after the 1990 FIFA World Cup; Jan scored the 3rd goal in a 3–1 win over Uruguay but Belgium was eliminated by England in the round of sixteen, with the winning goal being scored by David Platt in the 119th minute in extra time. Jan had struck the post during the game.

Professionally, he stayed at Club Brugge for 13 years, endearing himself to his country when he turned down an offer from Italian giant A.C. Milan. He remains the only football player to have posed with the A.C. Milan board for the press that never actually became an A.C. Milan player.[5]

After retiring as a player due to knee injury, he became a manager at KSC Eendracht Aalst in 1992. He won promotion to Belgian First Division and even a qualification for UEFA Cup. He moved in 1998 to K.V.C. Westerlo where he also qualified for UEFA Cup. In 2005, he is back at 'his' Club Brugge where he would be manager for 3 years but after several bad results he was fired in April 2006. For the 2007–2008 season, he returned to K.V.C. Westerlo. He currently lives in Kessel.

He was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers in March 2004.

Career statistics[edit]


Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Belgium League Belgian Cup League Cup Europe Total
1974–75 Lierse First Division 15 1
1975–76 29 12
1976–77 34 12
1977–78 32 14
1978–79 Club Brugge First Division 34 13
1979–80 34 29
1980–81 32 12
1981–82 29 11
1982–83 33 14
1983–84 31 15
1984–85 27 17
1985–86 31 13
1986–87 28 12
1987–88 30 13
1988–89 28 13
1989–90 34 15
1990–91 33 14
Total Belgium 514 230
Career total 514 230



Club Brugge





  1. ^ a b "Ceulemans, Jan – Stats". National-Football-Teams. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  2. ^ Lionheart Ceulemans still the pride of Belgium FIFA.com
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Lionheart Ceulemans still the pride of Belgium". FIFA. 2 April 2015. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  4. ^ "Jan Ceulemans". Planetworldcup. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  5. ^ Belga sport (2012) Afl. 4 – Jan Ceulemans

External links[edit]