Antwerp. Sparkling in the Belgian sunlight, this city is the diamond geezer of the world. Literally. Its roots, as the planets diamond centre, go back generations and it’s not hard to spot the wealth that’s derived from it. If you’ve got your eye on a ring for the missus then this is the ideal place to start looking. From its amazing gothic cathedral to its stunning train station, this city has a fair bit of class about it.
However, that’s not really what brings us here. What does attract us is the football and the incredible Belgian breweries. Royal Antwerp are one of Europe’s old aristocrats, their seat at the top table of Belgian football may have slipped away, (they haven’t won the league since 1957), but they are Belgium’s oldest club and have long been regarded as one of the country’s best supported. Set up by English students in 1880, this club has many ties with English football and still has an ongoing relationship with a certain red club from Manchester. As for the beer, well there’s plenty of it, with breweries, bars, and clubs aplenty, to entice even the most moderate of lager drinkers.
Royal Antwerp are the first known club formed in Belgium, back in 1880.
Their home is the Bosuilstadion a fittingly grand old stadium for a grand old club although being quite rundown it adds to the grounds character.
Residents of the Bosuilstadion since 1923
Founded by a group of English students residing in the city back in 1880
The most successful period of Antwerp’s 145 year history came in the 90’s where the club reached the European Cup Winners Cup Final only to lose 3-1 to Italian side Parma. To this day they are still the last club from the Belgian to reach a European final.
Antwerp are also proud of their links with Manchester United, they often receive young players out on loan to assist with first team experience with John O’Shea and Jonny Evans being some of the biggest names to do so.