A seemingly never-ending conveyor belt of talent over the last decade has helped the men’s national team to the top of the FIFA world rankings, shining a light on Belgium as an elite football nation. 

However, this recent success isn’t an anomaly. Belgium, and more specifically Brussels, is home to one of the most successful teams in the world – RSC Anderlecht. 

Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht, to give them their full name, were founded in 1908 and play their home games at the iconic Lotto Park, the new home of GIS Brussels. 


With 64 major trophies to their name – including 34 league titles – the Purple and White are one of the top 20 teams in the world when it comes to listing major honours. A list that also includes European giants Real Madrid, Liverpool and Bayern Munich. 

That success includes nine Belgian Cups, a UEFA Cup win in 1983 and two UEFA Cup Winners Cup successes. Anderlecht are joined by fellow giants Club Brugge and Standard Liege to make up the ‘Big Three’ of Belgian football. 

Whilst their last league title was in 2017, Anderlecht fans are dreaming again that further success and silverware is just around the corner. 


Anderlecht’s current men’s squad includes Premier League winner and goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, all-time Belgian record appearance holder Jan Vertonghen and Belgian international Thorgan Hazard, brother of Belgian football royalty Eden. 

The success and quality of Belgian footballers over the last decade has been well documented, with many finding great success around Europe. However, what many don’t realise is that Anderlecht has played a huge part in the development of that talent, with the club often considered the academy of Belgian football. 

Players who have come through the youth system at Anderlecht include Serie A winner Romelu Lukaku, Premier League legend Vincent Kompany (who later returned to manage Anderlecht), Manchester City’s Jeremy Doku and FA Cup winner with Leicester City Youri Tielemans.


Going back in time a little further, club legends include Dutch stalwart Pieter Rensenbrink. Named the club’s greatest player of the 20th century, Resenbrink was part of the great Anderlecht team of the 1970s and played in two world cups for the Netherlands, including the 1978 final which they lost to Argentina. Another great name to pull on the famous purple jersey was Paul Van Himst, largely considered one of the all-time great Belgian footballers. Van Himst won eight league titles during his time as a player at Anderlecht, and one as manager. 

RSC Anderlecht Women are also the dominant force in Belgian women’s football, having won 10 domestic titles including an incredible unbroken six in a row from 2018 to 2024, plus 11 Belgian Cups and three Supercups. RSCA Women also have a strong European history, having played historic games of the UEFA Women’s Champions League at Lotto Park. 

Learn more about GIS Brussels, the brand new campus located at RSC Anderlecht’s Lotto Park. 

Article by Neil Hawkins