Franky Van der Elst

Franky Van der Elst
Van der Elst in 2010
Personal information
Date of birth (1961-04-30) 30 April 1961
Place of birth Ninove, Belgium
Height 1.84 m (6 ft 12 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
Blau-Wit Lombeek
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1978–1984 Molenbeek 103 (5)
1984–1999 Club Brugge 466 (15)
Total 569 (20)
National team
1984–1998 Belgium 86 (1)
Teams managed
1999–2003 Germinal Beerschot
2003–2004 Lokeren
2005–2007 Club Brugge (assistant)
2008 FC Brussels
2009–2011 Lommel United
2011–2012 Sint-Truiden
2014–2016 Roeselare
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Franky Van der Elst (born 30 April 1961) is a Belgian retired footballer who played as a defensive midfielder, and is a current manager.

During a 21-year professional career he played mainly with Club Brugge, being regarded as a legend there and briefly coaching the team in the 2000s. Also, he was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers, in March 2004.[1]

Van der Elst won 86 caps for the Belgium national team, representing the country in four World Cups and retiring at nearly 40 years of age.

Playing career

Born in Ninove, Van der Elst started his professional career at R.W.D. Molenbeek, earning his first call-up for Belgium in 1982. Two years later, he moved to Club Brugge KV and stayed there until he finished his career in 1999, going on to total over 500 overall appearances with the side (466 in the league alone); during four seasons, he often partnered in midfield his namesake Leo – no relation.

Van der Elst won the Golden Shoe twice in his career, an accomplishment for an eminently defensive-minded player. He also appeared in four FIFA World Cups from 1986 to 1998,[2] only scoring once for his country in nearly 90 matches, in a 2–2 friendly draw against Norway on 25 March 1998.

Coaching career

After retiring at the age of 38, Van der Elst was appointed as manager at K.F.C. Germinal Beerschot. After four relatively successful years he was replaced by Marc Brys, and subsequently joined K.S.C. Lokeren Oost-Vlaanderen.

In 2005, Van der Elst returned to 'his' Club Brugge, as an assistant, joining former teammates – both in club and country – Jan Ceulemans, Marc Degryse, Dany Verlinden and René Verheyen. He remained with the team when Verheyen and Ceulemans were fired in 2006, but was eventually shown the door the following year, with head coach Emilio Ferrera.

After a very short spell with FC Brussels,[3] Van der Elst moved to K.V.S.K. United Overpelt-Lommel, both clubs in the second level.

Honours

Club statistics

[4][5]

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals
Belgium League Belgian Cup League Cup Europe Total
1978–79MolenbeekBelgian Pro League10
1979–8000
1980–8160
1981–82331
1982–83321
1983–84313
1984–85Club BruggeBelgian Pro League331
1985–86342
1986–87340
1987–88320
1988–89341
1989–90341
1990–91343
1991–92293
1992–93321
1993–94200
1994–95290
1995–96300
1996–97292
1997–98320
1998–99301
Total Belgium 56920
Career total 56920

References

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