Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state in Western Europe bordered by France, the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, and the North Sea. It is a small, densely populated country which covers an area of 30,528 square kilometres and has a population of about 11 million people. Additionally, there is a group of German-speakers who live in the East Cantons located around the High Fens area. Historically, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg were known as the Low Countries, the region was called Belgica in Latin, after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, today, Belgium is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. It is divided into three regions and three communities, that exist next to each other and its two largest regions are the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north and the French-speaking southern region of Wallonia. The Brussels-Capital Region is a bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. A German-speaking Community exists in eastern Wallonia, Belgiums linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments. Upon its independence, declared in 1830, Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Belgium is also a member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD and WTO. Its capital, Brussels, hosts several of the EUs official seats as well as the headquarters of major international organizations such as NATO. Belgium is also a part of the Schengen Area, Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy and is categorized as very high in the Human Development Index. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings, a gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 14th and 15th centuries, the Eighty Years War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands. The latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and this was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. The reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, although the franchise was initially restricted, universal suffrage for men was introduced after the general strike of 1893 and for women in 1949. The main political parties of the 19th century were the Catholic Party, French was originally the single official language adopted by the nobility and the bourgeoisie
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Covering an area of 255,804 km², the SFRY was bordered with Italy to the west, Hungary to the north, Bulgaria and Romania to the east and Albania and Greece to the south. In addition, it included two autonomous provinces within Serbia, Kosovo and Vojvodina, the SFRY traces back to 29 June 1943 when the Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia was formed during World War II. On 29 November 1945, the Federal Peoples Republic of Yugoslavia was proclaimed after the deposal of King Peter II thus ending the monarchy. Following the death of Tito on 4 May 1980, rising ethnic nationalism in the late 1980s led to dissidence among the multiple ethnicities within the constituent republics. This led to the federation collapsing along the borders, followed by the final downfall and breakup of the federation on 27 April 1992. The term former Yugoslavia is now commonly used retrospectively, the name Yugoslavia, an Anglicised transcription of Jugoslavija, is a composite word made-up of jug and slavija. The Serbo-Croatian, Slovene and Macedonian word jug means south, while slavija denotes a land of the Slavs, thus, a translation of Jugoslavija would be South-Slavia or Land of the South Slavs. The term is intended to denote the lands occupied by the six South Slavic nations, Serbs, Croats, Bosniaks, Montenegrins, Slovenes, the full official name of the federation varied significantly between 1945 and 1992. Yugoslavia was formed in 1918 under the name Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, the name deliberately left the republic-or-kingdom question open. In 1963, amid pervasive liberal constitutional reforms, the name Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was introduced, the state is most commonly referred to by the latter name, which it held for the longest period of all. The most common abbreviation is SFRY, though SFR Yugoslavia was also used in an official capacity, particularly by the media. On 6 April 1941, Yugoslavia was invaded by the Axis powers led by Nazi Germany, by 17 April 1941, Yugoslav resistance was soon established in two forms, the Royal Yugoslav Army and the Yugoslav Partisans. The Partisan supreme commander was Josip Broz Tito, and under his command the movement soon began establishing liberated territories which attracted the attentions of the occupying forces. The coalition of parties, factions, and prominent individuals behind the movement was the Peoples Liberation Front. The Front formed a political body, the Anti-Fascist Council for the Peoples Liberation of Yugoslavia. The AVNOJ, which met for the first time in Partisan-liberated Bihać on 26 November 1942, during 1943, the Yugoslav Partisans began attracting serious attention from the Germans. In two major operations of Fall Weiss and Fall Schwartz, the Axis attempted to stamp-out the Yugoslav resistance once, on both occasions, despite heavy casualties, the Group succeeded in evading the trap and retreating to safety. The Partisans emerged stronger than before and now occupied a significant portion of Yugoslavia
Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. As the worlds fifth-largest country by area and population, it is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language. Its Amazon River basin includes a vast tropical forest, home to wildlife, a variety of ecological systems. This unique environmental heritage makes Brazil one of 17 megadiverse countries, Brazil was inhabited by numerous tribal nations prior to the landing in 1500 of explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, who claimed the area for the Portuguese Empire. Brazil remained a Portuguese colony until 1808, when the capital of the empire was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro, in 1815, the colony was elevated to the rank of kingdom upon the formation of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves. Independence was achieved in 1822 with the creation of the Empire of Brazil, a state governed under a constitutional monarchy. The ratification of the first constitution in 1824 led to the formation of a bicameral legislature, the country became a presidential republic in 1889 following a military coup détat. An authoritarian military junta came to power in 1964 and ruled until 1985, Brazils current constitution, formulated in 1988, defines it as a democratic federal republic. The federation is composed of the union of the Federal District, the 26 states, Brazils economy is the worlds ninth-largest by nominal GDP and seventh-largest by GDP as of 2015. A member of the BRICS group, Brazil until 2010 had one of the worlds fastest growing economies, with its economic reforms giving the country new international recognition. Brazils national development bank plays an important role for the economic growth. Brazil is a member of the United Nations, the G20, BRICS, Unasul, Mercosul, Organization of American States, Organization of Ibero-American States, CPLP. Brazil is a power in Latin America and a middle power in international affairs. One of the worlds major breadbaskets, Brazil has been the largest producer of coffee for the last 150 years and it is likely that the word Brazil comes from the Portuguese word for brazilwood, a tree that once grew plentifully along the Brazilian coast. In Portuguese, brazilwood is called pau-brasil, with the word brasil commonly given the etymology red like an ember, formed from Latin brasa and the suffix -il. As brazilwood produces a red dye, it was highly valued by the European cloth industry and was the earliest commercially exploited product from Brazil. The popular appellation eclipsed and eventually supplanted the official Portuguese name, early sailors sometimes also called it the Land of Parrots. In the Guarani language, a language of Paraguay, Brazil is called Pindorama
Club Brugge KV
Club Brugge Koninklijke Voetbalvereniging, commonly referred to as just Club Brugge, is a football club based in Bruges in Belgium. It was founded in 1891 and its ground is the Jan Breydel Stadium. Throughout its long history, Club Brugge has enjoyed much European football success, Club Brugge is the only Belgian club to have played the final of the European Cup so far, losing to Liverpool in the final of the 1978 season. They also lost in the 1976 UEFA Cup Final to the same opponents, Club Brugge holds the European record number of consecutive participations in the UEFA Europa League, the record number of Belgian cups and the record number of Belgian Supercups. 1890, Brugsche Football Club Club created by old students of the Catholic school Broeders Xaverianen,13 November 1891, Club recreated The club was recreated. This has since adopted as the official date of foundation. 1892, First board An official board was installed in the club,1894, Football Club Brugeois Club created by 16 old members of Brugsche FC. 1895, Vlaamsche Football Club de Bruges Club created in the city, 1895–96, the UBSSA set up in 1895. and they went to the UBSSA and took part of the first Belgian national league. 1896, Leaving the UBSSA Financially it was difficult for FC Brugeois,1897, Fusion FC Brugeois joined Brugsche FC but they continued under the name Football Club Brugeois. 1902, New fusion Vlaamsche FC joined FC Brugeois,1912, De Klokke They moved to a new stadium named De Klokke. 1913–14, First cup final FC Brugeois reached their first Belgian Cup final,1920, First time league champions The club became for the first time champions of the first division. 1926, Royal Football Club Brugeois The club get number 3 as their matricule number,1928, First relegation A first low when the club was relegated to the second division. 1930, New statute President Albert Dyserynck changed the statute into a non-profit association. 1931, Albert Dyserynckstadion When president Albert Dyserynck suddenly died they honoured him by changing the name into Albert Dyserynckstadion. 1959, Permanent to the first division RFC Brugeois promoted to the first division,1968, First time cup winners They won the Belgian Cup for the first time against Beerschot AC. 1972, Club Brugge Koninklijke Voetbalvereniging The club changed their name into the Flemisch name Club Brugge KV1975,1976, Highest position in UEFA Cup Under Austrian coach Ernst Happel, Club Brugge reached the finals of the UEFA Cup and lost against Liverpool. 1978, Only Belgian European Cup 1 finalists Still under Ernst Happel and this time it was in the European Champions Clubs Cup final. Club Brugge is the only Belgian club that has reached the finals of the European biggest competition,1992, First goal scorer in the Champions League Daniel Amokachi is the first goal scorer in the Champions League
Belgian First Division A
The Belgian First Division A is the top league competition for association football clubs in Belgium. Following the 2015–16 season it was renamed from the Belgian Pro League, contested by 16 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the Belgian First Division B. Seasons run from late July to early May, with teams playing 30 matches each in the regular season, play-offs 1 are contested by the top 6 clubs in the regular season, with each club playing each other twice. Play-offs 2 are contested by teams ranked 7 to 15 in the regular season, the team finishing in 16th place is relegated. As of 2014 the league was sponsored by AB InBev, brewers of Jupiler beer, and officially known as Jupiler Pro League, the competition was created in 1895 by the Royal Belgian Football Association and was first won by FC Liégeois. Of the 74 clubs to have competed in the first division since its creation,15 have been crowned champions of Belgium, RSC Anderlecht is the most successful league club with 33 titles, followed by Club Brugge KV, Union Saint-Gilloise and Standard Liège. It is currently ranked 10th in the UEFA rankings of leagues based on performances in European competitions over the last five-years. The competition was ranked 3rd when the UEFA first published their ranking in 1979 and also the year in 1980. FC Liégeois became the first champion of Belgium, the first 8 titles in Belgian football were all won by FC Liégeois or RC de Bruxelles. There was no promotion and relegation system at the time but the last two clubs of the league withdrew and a new club entered the competition, during the 1896–97 season, SC de Bruxelles withdrew so the 1897–98 season was played among 5 clubs only. In the seasons 1898–99 and 1899–1900, the association introduced a new format with two leagues at the top level and then a final game in two legs. The format though changed back to one league with 9 clubs in 1900–01, in 1904–05 the championship was organised with one league of 11 teams. In 1906–07, Union Saint-Gilloise won their 4th consecutive title as RC de Bruxelles had from 1899–1900 to 1902–03, both clubs claimed the next 3 titles before CS Brugeois won their first title, finishing one point ahead their rival of FC Brugeois. As World War I approached, Daring Club de Bruxelles confirmed its status of challenger, even winning the title in 1911–12, only Union Saint-Gilloise could face them in that period, winning the 1912–13 championship with a better goal difference. Since 1911–12, two clubs are relegated each year to the Promotion and two clubs from the Promotion are promoted, during World War I, the football championship was suspended. It resumed in 1919–20 with FC Brugeois claiming their first title after 5-second places, among which were 2 lost final games, the challengers at the time were CS Brugeois, Union Saint-Gilloise, Daring Club de Bruxelles and Standard Club Liégeois. Starting 25 December 1932, Union Saint-Gilloise had a record 60 games unbeaten run in the championship, winning the 1932–33, 1933–34, the rival of Union during this period was Daring Club de Bruxelles. They claimed the two championships
Cercle Brugge K.S.V.
Cercle Brugge Koninklijke Sportvereniging is a Belgian professional football club based in Bruges. Cercle have played in the Belgian Pro League since the 2003–04 season, the club play home games at the Jan Breydel Stadium, which they share with fierce rivals Club Brugge. Cercle Brugge won their first national title in 1911, and won two titles before the Second World War. The side also won the Belgian Cup in 1927 and in 1985, Cercle Brugge was founded on 9 April 1899 as Cercle Sportif Brugeois by former students of the Saint Francis Xavier Institute, colloquially known as De Frères in Bruges. Originally, the focused on five sports, football, cricket, lawn tennis. Cercle Brugge became a member of the Royal Belgian Football Association in 1900 and were awarded matricule number 12, Cercle achieved their first success in the 1902 Henri Fraeys Cup, defeating Olympique Iris Club Lillois and US Tourcoing. After winning another few friendly cups Cercle achieved their first big success, Cercle ended a single point ahead of their main rivals FC Bruges, after their confrontation on the seasons last matchday ended in a 1–1 draw. Three years later Belgian football was devastated by World War I, former player Alphonse Six also lost his life. Cercle resumed competitive football in 1919 with an almost completely new team, Louis Saeys was the only player to remain in the team from before the war. Expectations were low, but the finished third in the league. The monument still exists and now stands in front of the Jan Breydel Stadium, in 1923 Cercle extended their stadium facilities again, moving 100 metres from their old pitch to a newly built stadium. This ground, later named the Edgard De Smedt Stadium, became Cercles home for more than 50 years, in 1924 the club changed its name from Cercle Sportif Brugeois to Royal Cercle Sportif Brugeois. The club embarked on a period, led by two key players, Belgian record international Florimond Vanhalme and player-coach Louis Saeys. Cercle led the league midway through the 1925–26 season, but player injuries led to results that saw them finish in fifth place. Cercle made a start to the 1929–30 season, entering the mid-season winter break in sixth place. Nonetheless, by the weekend of the season they had narrowed the gap to a single point. The side then faced a wait for the result of Antwerp against 10th placed Standard Liège. In the end, the news reached team captain Florimond Vanhalme that Antwerp had lost 3–5, meaning Cercle had won their third, because of this title Cercle were invited to take part in the Coupe des Nations, which is regarded as the predecessor of the Champions League
Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht, usually known as Anderlecht or RSCA, is a Belgian professional football club based in Anderlecht, Brussels Capital-Region. They have also won nine Belgian Cups and hold the record for most consecutive Belgian championship titles, founded in 1908, the club first reached the highest level in Belgian football in 1921–22 and have been playing in the first division continuously since 1935–36. They won their first major trophy after World War II with a win in 1946–47. Since then, they have never finished outside the top six of the Belgian first division and they are ranked 12th amongst all-time UEFA club competition winners, tenth in the IFFHS continental Clubs of the 20th Century European ranking and were 41st in the 2012 UEFA team rankings. In 1986, they achieved their best UEFA ranking with a joint first place with Juventus Anderlecht have been playing their matches in the Astrid Park in the municipality of Anderlecht since 1917. Their current stadium, Constant Vanden Stock Stadium, was first opened in 1983 and they play in purple and white outfits. They have long-standing rivalries with Club Brugge and Standard Liège and previously with FC Brussels, founded as Sporting Club Anderlechtois on 27 May 1908 by a dozen football lovers at the Concordia café, the club beat Institut Saint-Georges in their first match by 11–8. They joined the competition in 1909–10, starting at the lowest level in the Belgian football league system. In 1912–13, they gained promotion to the level of football. After only one season at level, the championships were suspended due to World War I. With the popularity of the increasing, Anderlecht had moved to a new stadium in the Astrid Park in 1917. They baptized the stadium Stade Emile Versé in honor of the clubs first major patron, at the end of the 1920–21 season, Anderlecht were promoted to the first division for the first time in their history. In 1933,25 years after their formation, the changed their name to Royal Sporting Club Anderlechtois. Since their promotion in 1935, Anderlecht has remained at the top level of football, with Jef Mermans, a striker signed from K Tubantia FC in 1942 for a record fee of 125,000 Belgian francs, Anderlecht won their first league title in 1947. Their success increased in the years as they won six more titles between 1949–50 and 1955–56 and two more in 1958–59 and 1961–62. In the 1960s, under the coaching of Pierre Sinibaldi and then of Andreas Beres, the club won five titles in a row. The star of this team was Paul Van Himst, Anderlecht played in the first European Champion Clubs Cup in 1955–56, and lost both legs of their tie against Vörös Lobogo. They had to wait until the 1962–63 season to win their first European tie, with a 1–0 victory over Real Madrid, for the first time, they advanced to the second round, where they beat CSKA Sofia before losing to Dundee in the quarter-finals
R. Charleroi S.C.
Royal Charleroi Sporting Club is a Belgian football club based in the city of Charleroi, in the province of Hainaut. Charleroi plays in the Belgian Pro League and their current spell at the highest level in Belgian football has started in the 2012–13 season, Charleroi was founded in 1904 and they first reached the first division in 1947–48. Their highest finish was runner-up in the 1968–69 season and they have also twice reached the Belgian Cup final, losing in 1977–78 to Beveren and in 1992–93 to Standard Liège. Sporting Charleroi have a rivalry with city other club ROC de Charleroi-Marchienne. Charleroi play their matches at the Stade du Pays de Charleroi. The stadium hosted 3 group stage games in the Euro 2000 among which the 1–0 victory of England against Germany, Charleroi have been recruiting several French players in recent years, including Michaël Ciani, Cyril Théréau and goalkeeper Bertrand Laquait. Charleroi Sporting Club was founded in 1904 and they received the matricule n°22, twenty years after their foundation, they qualified to play in the Promotion and in 1929, the club changed its name to Royal Charleroi Sporting Club. Rivals from Olympic Charleroi were playing in the first division in the late 1930s, in 1949, Sporting Charleroi finished 4th whereas Olympic Charleroi was 14th. But Olympic took the lead again until 1955 and their relegation to the second division, at the end of the 1956–57 season, Olympic Charleroi had promoted to the first division but Sporting Charleroi finished last in the first division and was thus relegated to the second division. A spell of 9 seasons in the division followed and in 1966–67 Sporting Charleroi was back at the top level. They finished at the place in 1968–695 points behind Standard Liège. In 1974 the first division was changing from 16 to 20 teams, Olympic Charleroi promoted too as they had won the second division right before but they remained at the top level for just one season. Sporting underwent a new relegation in 1979–80 but was five years later. Their best result since then in the first division is a 4th place in 1993–94, in September 2005, the G-14 took FIFA to court over the 8-month injury incurred by Abdelmajid Oulmers whilst on international duty with Morocco. The colours of Charleroi are black and white with a shirt generally striped, the actual ground was baptized in 1939 with a match Sporting-Union du Centre and it was located near the coal mine named Mambourg. In 1985 the stadium was modernized as the club had qualified for the first division. It was then renewed in the late 1990s in view of the 2000 European Football Championship. The name changed on May 24,1999 from Stade du Mambourg to Stade du Pays de Charleroi, during the tournament, the full capacity of the stadium was up to 30,000 seats
Jan Anna Gumaar Ceulemans is a former Belgian footballer who played as an attacking midfielder. A prolific goalscorer Ceulemans was well known for his stamina, aerial ability and he is his countrys most capped player with 96 international appearances. Most of his time with Belgium took place under the guidance of Guy Thys and this period saw the Belgium squad record some of their finest results, which include reaching the final of Euro 80 and fourth place at the 1986 FIFA World Cup. His performance earned the nickname Captain Courageous, jan had struck the post during the game. Professionally, he stayed at Club Brugge for 13 years, endearing himself to his country when he turned down an offer from Italian giant A. C. Milan. He remains the football player to have posed with the AC Milan board for the press that never actually became an AC Milan player. After retiring as a due to knee injury, he became a manager at KSC Eendracht Aalst in 1992. He won promotion to Belgian First Division and even a qualification for UEFA Cup and he moved in 1998 to K. V. C. Westerlo where he qualified for UEFA Cup. In 2005 he is back at his Club Brugge where he would be manager for 3 years, for the 2007–2008 season, he returned to KVC Westerlo. He was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers in March 2004
Koninklijke Beerschot Antwerpen Club, simply known as Beerschot AC, was a Belgian football club based in southern Antwerp. The club was established in 1999 as the result of the merger between K Beerschot VAC and KFC Germinal Ekeren, from which they took over the matricule number and history. Prior to the merger, Germinal Ekeren had been a first division club for 10 years, the club won 2 Belgian Cups, one as Germinal Ekeren in 1997, the other as Germinal Beerschot in 2005. Their best league ranking was a 3rd place in 1995–96 and in 1997–98, following the merger in 1999, the club moved from the Veltwijckstadion in the municipality of Ekeren to the Olympisch Stadion in the Kiel neighbourhood in Antwerp. Their outfits mixed the yellow and red of Germinal Ekeren with the purple of Beerschot and their biggest rival is Royal Antwerp FC. On 17 May 2011, the changed its name again to Koninklijke Beerschot Antwerpse Club or Beerschot AC. In addition, the set its motto to the Latin phrase Tene Quod Bene. After being relegated in 2012–13, the club went bankrupt at the end of the season and was removed from competition altogether, in June 2013 K. FC. O. Wilrijk unofficially merged with Beerschot AC into FCO Beerschot Wilrijk. This new club started in the first division of the Belgian Provincial leagues, in 1920 F. C. Germinal Ekeren was founded in the town of Ekeren, a northern suburb of Antwerp. Several years earlier, in 1899, Beerschot was founded at Het Kiel, an outskirt of Antwerp. In 1971 they added the prefix Koninklijk to their name, the team reached the top division in Belgian football in 1989 and finished 13th. They achieved their highest league position of third in 1996 and 1998, Germinal Beerschot Antwerpen kept the matricule n°3530 of Ekeren to keep their place in the first division, but retained the stadium of Beerschot, rebuilding it in the process. By keeping the matricule of Ekeren, the honours of Beerschot were considered to be distinct and separate from the new team, in 2004 further financial difficulties were experienced and Marc Brys, a Belgian football coach was brought in. He led the team to victory in the Belgian Cup that year, after only 7 matches in the Jupiler League 2005-06 season, he was fired due to bad results. The current coach is Glen De Boeck after the previous coach Jos Daerden left to become an assistant coach at Dutch club Twente, may 2013, Naamloze vennootschap Beerschot announced it will be liquidated. After having failed to present a plan to the Royal Belgian Football Association. Unable to attract enough financial means to continue playing in a division they decided upon liquidation. Late May 2013 the entourage and fans of Beerschot started negotiations with FCO. Wilrijk, in June 2013 when K. FC. O. Wilrijk its name into F. C. O