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The most successful sides in Belgium

Thanks to a mix of home grown prospects and exciting international stars, Belgian football has always maintained a strong following. It has seen many players push themselves further in order to get a big money move to one of Europe’s biggest clubs. Through all of this, the likes of Anderlecht and Club Brugge has emerged as household names across the country despite being pushed by stronger rivals. With that in mind, let’s take and see just who are the most successful sides in the history of Belgian football?

 

Beerschot VAC (7 titles)

Once a formidable powerhouse in Belgian football, Antwerp-based Beerschot VAC were one of Belgium’s first powerhouse clubs. All of their titles came in the era between World War I and World War II as the country recovered from these challenging events. Beerschot dominated the 1920s winning five league titles during that decade including three straight wins from 1923-1925. They would further win consecutive titles in the 1930s defending their crown successfully in both 1938 and 1939. However, after the Second World War, Beerschot’s success and fortunes suffered dramatically with the club folding in 1999. They would suffer more failures with their successor – Germinal Beerschot – folding once again in 2013. Since then, the third iteration of the club – K Beerschot VA – has made brief appearances in the Belgian Pro League without maintaining a regular stay in the Belgian top flight.

 

Standard Liege (10 titles)

With support of much of the Walloon region, Standard Liege has been the principal side to emerge from the French side of Belgium. Based in the city of Liege, Standard have often found themselves in title fights for much of their existence. It wouldn’t be until the 1957-1958 season when they would win their first league trophy however this sent the club on a hot streak. Standard would win 4 league titles throughout the 1960s and 1970s where they would win three straight titles from 1969-1971. From there, success has come in short and infrequent bursts for the club. They were in impeccable form in the 1981-82 season winning the Pro League title as well as finishing runners up in the 1982 UEFA Cup Winners Cup before successfully defending their title a year later. It wouldn’t be until the new century when they would win silverware when they would repeat back to back Pro league wins in 2008 & 2009. With that, it has kept Liege relevant in title fights up until this very day.

 

Union Saint-Gilloise (11 titles)

There have been few stories quite like the one of Brussels-based Union Saint-Gilloise. Union Saint-Gilloise were the first powerhouse in Belgian football proven by their dominance before World War I. Here, they won 7 league titles including 6 straight titles from 1903-1910. This success carried on infrequently during the early days with league wins in 1913 and 1923. However, they would experience a second renaissance winning 3 more titles consecutive in the early 1930s from 1932-1935. This early trophy blitz would be USG’s last piece of silverware with the club falling all the way down to the fourth tier of Belgian football by the 1980s. The fortunes for this ancient club look bright though as new ownership emerge as title contenders once again including a second place finish in the 2021-22 season. This shows that there is still much to enjoy from one of Belgium’s oldest clubs.

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Club Brugge (18 titles)

One of Belgium’s more famous sides, Club Brugge have shown themselves to be a highly resourceful and successful team. The side from Bruges enjoyed early success winning their first league title in 1920 however much of their fame has come much more recently. Much of their most famous achievements came in the 1970s. Not only did Club Brugge win 5 Pro League titles in that decade, they also made final appearances in the 1976 UEFA Cup and the 1978 European Cup. It set the stage for more success to follow with multiple league titles wins in each decade from the 1980s onwards. They have also been successful in the current era of the game winning 7 league titles in the 21st century including 3 straight wins from 2019-2022. With Club Brugge matching their best ever run of form, they look set to continue their title challenges for the foreseeable future.

 

Anderlecht (34 titles)

When it comes to winning trophies, no side in Belgium has been quite as ruthless as Anderlecht. The Brussels-based side have dominated Belgian football ever since the end of World War II when they won their first league trophy in 1947. Anderlecht’s success has seen the club successfully defend league titles in every decade since then sweeping any opposition that come their way. This including a five-year streak from 1963-1968 where they were nigh on unstoppable. This streak in the 1960s also saw them complete a domestic double in the 1964-65 season. They would also find continental success later on too winning the UEFA Cup Winners Cup twice in 1976 and 1978 as well winning the UEFA Super Cup in both those years. To add to their success, they would also win the 1983 UEFA Cup title showcasing their everlasting success. They have carried this form into the 21st century notching up 10 title wins – more than any other side in the country. By having such a rich history, it seems unlikely that any team will usurp Anderlecht as Belgium’s most successful side for a long time to come.

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