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Anderlecht football club - Brussels in mauve and white

Ever wanted to see a football match? Have you ever been to a stadium? No? You can’t miss
going at least once if you live in Brussels. The most famous club here is Royal Sporting
Club Anderlecht – and here’s why….

Founded in 1908, RSCA is arguably Belgium’s best club, having won 30 Championships (which explains the three stars on the players’ shirts). In second position, FC Bruges has 13 titles, less than half. Anderlecht has also won the now-defunct European Cup Winners’ Cup (twice) and the UEFA Cup (once) with a couple of Super Cups thrown in.

Several former-Anderlecht players have stepped up to the football leagues of England and beyond, with a steady stream also playing for the Belgian national team: the Red Devils.

Located in the western part of the capital, the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium is named after the
father of RSCA’s president. It’s near Astrid Park, and the best way to get there is to take the STIB (subway or bus) and to follow the mauve-and-white wave outside. Going by car can be expensive as you can only park for one hour close to the stadium.

Don’t be disappointed to find that, by modern standards, the stadium is relatively small. Then again,  Belgium is small and so is Brussels. Regardless, the club have so far refused to move to a bigger place, as it would have to be outside the commune of Anderlecht.

Prices range from just €5 for the less-popular games against Division 2 or Division 3 clubs to around €100 for big games against the likes of Standard. These games sell out months in advance but, for normal matches, it’s pretty easy and relatively inexpensive to see Anderlecht live.

Known to be multicultural,  like its host city, the team gathers its hefty Belgian support from the North, from Brussels, of course, and even a some from the South (where the loyalty is mainly to Standard Liege – lately a big rival of RSCA’s).

There’s always a great atmosphere and many fans don’t go home straight after a match, choosing to eat,  have a drink or two in one of the supporters’ bars and generally party – as long as the team has won.

A little advice, though, when heading to a game: never, ever, wear red.

Cedric Dautinger

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