Royal Antwerp F.C.
|Full name||Royal Antwerp Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||The Great Old|
Bosuilstadion (1923– )
|League||Belgian First Division A|
|2016–17||Belgian First Division B, champions|
Founded around 1880 as Antwerp Athletic 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.
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. They have been playing in the Belgian Second Division since 2004–05. Royal Antwerp play their home matches at the Bosuilstadion since 1923. Royal Antwerp colours are red and white.
Royal Antwerp have a long-term partnership with the English club Manchester United, often 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. 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.
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.
- Champions (1): 1999–2000, 2016–2017
- Champions (2): 1954–55, 1991–92
- Runners-up (1): 1992–93
Updated 25 September 2017. Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
|Assistant Manager||Wim De Decker|
|Goalkeeping Coach||Vedran Runje|
|Fitness Coach||Peter Catteeuw|
|Match Analyst||Jerry Vanacker|
- "125 years football history". rafc.be. Archived from the original on December 8, 2008. Retrieved February 7, 2011.
- "Wist je dat: de KBVB stamnummers uitvond?". voetbalkrant.com. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
- "Stadiums & Pitches". rafc.be. Archived from the original on December 8, 2008. Retrieved February 7, 2011.
- "Manchester United's Royal Antwerp Loanees". Five Cantonas. Retrieved March 24, 2011.