Royal Antwerp F.C.

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Royal Antwerp Football Club logo.svg
Full nameRoyal Antwerp Football Club
Nickname(s)The Great Old
De Ploeg Van ‘t Stad
Founded1880; 139 years ago (1880)
GroundBroodstraat (1908–1923)
Bosuilstadion (1923– )
Antwerp, Belgium
OwnerPaul Gheysens
ChairmanJan Michel
ManagerLászló Bölöni
LeagueBelgian First Division A
2018–19Belgian First Division A, 4th place
WebsiteClub website

Royal Antwerp Football Club, often simply referred to as Antwerp, is a Belgian football club based in the city of Antwerp.

Founded around 1880 as Antwerp Cricket Club by English students residing in Antwerp, 15 years prior to the creation of the Royal Belgian Football Association, Antwerp is regarded as the oldest club in Belgium. At first there was no organised football played by its members, until 1887 when the football division was founded with an own board, named Antwerp Football Club. Being the oldest active club at the time, it was the first club to register to the Association in 1895. Consequently, when matriculation numbers were introduced in 1926, the club received matriculate number one.[2][3]


In 1900, most of the players left the club for the new neighbouring club of K. Beerschot V.A.C., and this was the start of a long rivalry between both clubs. Royal Antwerp have won four Belgian league titles so far, as well as two Belgian Cups. The club is also the latest Belgian team to have reached a UEFA competition final, the 1993 European Cup Winners' Cup Final, where they lost 3–1 against Parma at Wembley Stadium. Royal Antwerp play their home matches at the Bosuilstadion since 1923.[4] Royal Antwerp colours are red and white.

Royal Antwerp had a long-term partnership with the English club Manchester United, taking their young players on loan so that their development can be aided with first team football, and young players who require European work-permits can benefit from Belgium's more relaxed laws.[5] An example is Dong Fangzhuo, who was unable to play for United, immediately due to work permit problems and was loaned to allow him to gain first team experience.

Despite being one of Belgium's best-supported clubs, Antwerp have been under-achievers for several years. They have not won a league title since 1957, and have spent several seasons in the second division. They were last promoted to the top flight in 2000, only to be relegated in short order in 2004. They returned to the first division after 13 years in 2017.

Meuse/Scheldt Cup[edit]

The best football players of Antwerp and Rotterdam contested a yearly match between 1909 and 1959 for the Meuse- and Scheldt Cup (Maas- en Schelde Beker). It was agreed to play the game at Antwerp's stadium De Bosuil in Belgium and at Sparta Rotterdam's Het Kasteel stadium in the Netherlands. The cup was provided in 1909 by P. Havenith from Antwerp and Kees van Hasselt from Rotterdam.



Belgian First Division

Champions (4): 1928–29, 1930–31, 1943–44, 1956–57

Belgian Second Division

Champions (1): 1999–2000, 2016–2017

Belgian Cup

Champions (2): 1954–55, 1991–92


UEFA Cup Winners' Cup

Runners-up (1): 1992–93

Current squad[edit]

Updated 3 September, 2019. Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Turkey GK Sinan Bolat
2 Belgium DF Ritchie De Laet
3 Senegal DF Abdoulaye Seck
4 Ghana DF Daniel Opare
5 Brazil DF Matheus
6 Norway DF Simen Juklerød
7 Cameroon FW Didier Lamkel Zé
8 Portugal MF Ivo Rodrigues
10 Tunisia MF Nader Ghandri
11 Israel FW Lior Refaelov
12 Japan MF Koji Miyoshi (on loan from Kawasaki Frontale)
14 Senegal FW Amara Baby
15 Belgium DF Dino Arslanagić
16 Belgium MF Steven Defour
No. Position Player
17 Belgium DF Robbe Quirynen
18 Cameroon DF Martin Hongla
20 Belgium MF Sander Coopman
21 France DF Dylan Batubinsika
22 Netherlands DF Wesley Hoedt (on loan from Southampton)
25 Belgium MF Alexis De Sart
28 Belgium FW Manuel Benson
30 Portugal DF Aurélio Buta
31 Belgium GK Yves De Winter
38 Belgium MF Faris Haroun (Captain)
39 Belgium GK Jens Teunckens
40 Nigeria DF Junior Pius
60 Mali MF Sambou Yatabaré
70 Democratic Republic of the Congo FW Dieumerci Mbokani
87 Belgium FW Kevin Mirallas
93 Belgium FW Zinho Gano (on loan from Racing Genk)

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Ukraine MF Yehor Nazaryna (at Karpaty until 30 June 2020)
No. Position Player

Technical staff[edit]

Position Name
Manager Romania László Bölöni
Assistant Manager Belgium Wim De Decker
Goalkeeping Coach Croatia Vedran Runje
Fitness Coach Belgium Peter Catteeuw
Match Analyst Belgium Jerry Vanacker

Manchester United Players loan partnership[edit]

This is a list of former players acquired on-loan via Manchester United's partnership with Royal Antwerp from 1998 to 2013.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bosuil mag voortaan 16.144 supporters ontvangen GVA, 7 April 2018
  2. ^ "125 years football history". Archived from the original on December 8, 2008. Retrieved February 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "Wist je dat: de KBVB stamnummers uitvond?". Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  4. ^ "Stadiums & Pitches". Archived from the original on December 8, 2008. Retrieved February 7, 2011.
  5. ^ "Manchester United's Royal Antwerp Loanees". Five Cantonas. Retrieved March 24, 2011.

External links[edit]