Expatica news

Tributes paid to Belgium’s ‘magic’ football coach

7 December 2004

BRUSSELS – One of Belgium’s greatest football coaches has died at the age of 83.

The Belgian press paid tribute to Raymond Goethals on Tuesday, describing him as “the magician” and looking back on his teams’ many victories.

Goethals, who came from Brussels, described himself as an “acceptable” goalkeeper, but as a coach he led his teams to a string of wins.

In 1978, he helped Anderlecht make it to the final of the European Championship and with him at the head of the Standard, the team won the Belgian Championship in 1982 and 1983. When he moved to Marseille, the team took the French Championship in 1991, 1992 and 1993.

Goethals led teams throughout Belgium, including in Liege (Hannut, Waremme and Standard), in Brussels (Anderlecht and Racing Jet, as well as the Belgium national team) and in Limbourg (Saint-Trond).

He also worked in France, Portugal and Brazil. In Brazil, his team San Paolo won the regional championship without losing a single one of its 19 matches.

Goethals – who has been described as the best ever Belgian coach – was criticised sometimes for being conservative and not trusting younger players. However, his forte was his ability to select players with solid technique and experience.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news