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Football in Belgium

Football is the most popular sport in Belgium, played ever since the 19th century. In 1895 the Royal Belgian Football Association was founded to bring structure into the sport growing more and more popular.

Belgian national teams

Belgian men’s national football team is a team of football players representing Belgium in international championships and friendly matches. Their nickname is “The Red Devils”, and they fully embraced the nickname – having their mascot be a red super-devil called “Red” and a devilish looking trident in the logo. Belgium has long-standing sports rivalries with France and the Netherlands, playing with both teams nearly every year.

Belgian women’s national football team is nicknamed “Belgian Red Flames”, fully embracing the name, like their male friends. The team has majorly improved over the years. In 2016 they qualified for their first bigger tournament – Euro 2017.

Men’s league

Men’s league consists of levels 1-9, with levels 6-9 belonging into one category.

Current league system:

  • Level 1: Belgian First Division A
  • Level 2: Belgian First Division B
  • Level 3: Belgian National Division 1
  • Level 4: Belgian Division 2 (3 groups)
  • Level 5: Belgian Division 3 (4 groups)
  • Level 6-9: Belgian Provincial Leagues

Level 1, Belgian First Division A (officially Jupiter Pro League, due to sponsorship reasons), is the first on the league system pyramid. It holds Belgium’s best scoring clubs. Its current champion is Club Brugge Koninklijke Voetbalvereniging (known as Club Brugge), and the holder of the most titles is Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht (Anderlecht), with 34 as of today.

Women’s league

Women’s league consists of levels 1-4, with the current system looking like that:

  • Level 1: Super League
  • Level 2: First Division
  • Level 3: Second Division
  • Level 4+: Belgian Provincial Leagues

The highest level of the league pyramid is Super League, being home to the best clubs and players of the country. Their present champion is RSC Anderlecht Féminin.

Notable players

Belgium is home to many famous and highly skilled players. Here are just some of the most talked-about names:

  • Kevin De Bruyne
  • Eden Hazard
  • Jan Vertonghen
  • Alex Witsel