Marc Robert Wilmots is a Belgian international former footballer who last managed the Ivory Coast national football team. During his club career as attacking midfielder, he won trophies with KV Mechelen, Standard Liège and Schalke 04, he has been a politician, having sat in the Senate for two years for the Mouvement Réformateur party. In his club career, which started in 1987, Wilmots played for Sint-Truiden, Standard Liège, Schalke 04, Bordeaux. At Schalke, he helped them to the 1997 UEFA Cup Final, his goal in the first leg was cancelled out by Internazionale in the second leg, but Schalke went on to win the game on penalties, with Wilmots scoring the decisive goal. He retired after his second stint with Schalke. During his time with Schalke, the fans there gave him the affectionate nickname "Das Kampfschwein", picked up by some English language journalists. In Belgium he is known under an allusion to his birthplace. For Belgium, Wilmots scored 28 goals in 70 caps, his first coming in May 1990.
He went to four World Cups. After being an unused substitute in 1990, he played 54 minutes in 1994 without scoring, but scored two goals in 1998 and three in 2002, making him Belgium's leading goal scorer in World Cup history, he scored a goal against Brazil in the last 16 match of the 2002 World Cup, disallowed because of a "phantom foul" on Roque Júnior. According to Wilmots, the referee Peter Prendergast apologized for the error to him at half time. Wilmots was named as one of the seven reserves in the 2002 World Cup All-Star Team. Wilmots played in Euro 2000, when Belgium co-hosted the tournament. Scores and results list Belgium's goal tally first. Wilmots became a football manager in summer 2004 for Sint-Truidense, but was sacked in February 2005. Between 2009 and 2012, he served as assistant manager of the Belgium national team under Dick Advocaat and Georges Leekens. On 15 May 2012, following the exit of Leekens, Wilmots assumed the Belgium reins on an interim basis before going onto become permanent coach, signing a contract until June 2014.
On 11 October 2013, Belgium qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Wilmots is credited with "not only giving the young group confidence in themselves as well as enjoying a close relationship with his players but at the same time being capable of instilling discipline to the squad." During the group stage, Belgium topped the group with all three wins, before exiting the tournament at the quarter-final stage. On 13 October 2015, Belgium won the group to qualify for the UEFA Euro 2016 in the last game of the stage against Israel. After a disappointing European Championship, Wilmots was fired by the Royal Belgian Football Association on 15 July 2016. After retiring as a footballer, Wilmots went into politics, he was elected to the Senate for the French-speaking conservative party, the Reformist Movement in the 2003 federal election. His political career is not considered successful. In 2005, he announced that he wanted to resign as a senator, a rather unconventional and criticized constitutional move.
As of match played 11 November 2017. MechelenBelgian First Division: 1988–89 European Super Cup: 1988Standard LiègeBelgian Cup: 1992–93Schalke 04DFB-Pokal: 2001–02 UEFA Cup: 1996–97IndividualBelgian Young Professional Footballer of the Year: 1989–90 FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 2002 IndividualBelgian Coach of the Year: 2013, 2014 Globe Soccer Awards Best Coach of the Year: 2015 Witzig, Richard; the Global Art of Soccer. Harahan: CusiBoy Publishing. ISBN 0-9776688-0-0
2002 FIFA World Cup
The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial world championship for men's national football teams organized by FIFA. It was held from 31 May to 30 June 2002 at sites in South Korea and Japan, with its final match hosted by Japan at International Stadium in Yokohama. A field of 32 teams qualified for this World Cup, the first to be held in Asia, the first to be held outside of the Americas or Europe, as well as the first to be jointly-hosted by more than one nation. China, Ecuador and Slovenia made their World Cup debuts; the tournament had several upsets and surprise results, which included the defending champions France being eliminated in the group stage after earning a single point and second favourites Argentina being eliminated in the group stage. South Korea managed to reach the semi-finals, beating Spain and Portugal en route. However, the most potent team at the tournament, prevailed, winning the final against Germany 2–0, making them the first and only country to have won the World Cup five times.
The victory qualified Brazil for the 2003 and subsequently 2005 FIFA Confederations Cups, its fourth and fifth Confederations Cup appearance in a row. In the third place play-off match against South Korea, Turkey won 3–2, taking third place in only their second FIFA World Cup; the 2002 World Cup was the last one to use the golden goal rule. South Korea and Japan were selected as hosts by FIFA on 31 May 1996. South Korea and Mexico presented three rival bids. FIFA officials brokered a united bid between the two Asian countries shortly before the decision was made, they were chosen unanimously in preference to Mexico; this was the first World Cup to be hosted by more than one country, the second being the 2026 World Cup, which will be hosted by the United States and Canada. The general secretary of South Korea's bidding committee, Song Young-shik, stated that FIFA was interested in staging some matches in North Korea in order to aid Korean reunification, but it was ruled out. At the time the decision was made, Japan had never qualified for a World Cup finals.
The only other countries to have been awarded a World Cup without having competed in a final tournament are Italy in 1934 and Qatar in 2022. The unusual choice of host proved an issue for football fans in Europe, used to watching international matches on or close to their time zone. With games taking place in the European morning, some schools and businesses chose to open late on match days or set up communal watching events before the start of work. 199 teams attempted to qualify for the 2002 World Cup. The qualification process began with the preliminary draw held in Tokyo on 7 December 1999. Defending champions France and co-hosts South Korea and Japan qualified automatically and did not have to play any qualification matches; this was the final World Cup in which the defending champions qualified automatically.14 places were contested by UEFA teams, five by CAF teams, four by CONMEBOL teams, four by AFC teams and three by CONCACAF teams. The remaining two places were decided by playoffs between AFC and UEFA and between CONMEBOL and OFC.
Four nations qualified for the finals for the first time: China, Ecuador and Slovenia. As of 2018, this was the last time the Republic of Ireland and China qualified for a FIFA World Cup finals, as well as the last time Australia and Switzerland failed to qualify. Turkey qualified for the first time since 1954, Poland and Portugal both qualified for the first time since 1986 and Costa Rica and Uruguay qualified for the first time since 1990. Sweden and the Republic of Ireland returned after missing the 1998 World Cup. 1998 semi-finalists the Netherlands, three times 1990s participants Romania and Colombia and Norway and Morocco, which had participated in the previous 2 finals, failed to qualify, while South Korea set a record by appearing in a fifth successive finals tournament, the first nation from outside Europe or the Americas to achieve this feat. All seven previous World Cup-winning nations qualified, which broke the record of most previous champions at a tournament before the record was broken again in 2014.
The highest ranked team not to qualify was Colombia, while the lowest ranked team that did qualify was China PR. The following 32 teams, shown with final pre-tournament rankings, qualified for the final tournament: South Korea and Japan each provided 10 venues, the vast majority of them newly built for the tournament. Groups A–D played all their matches in South Korea and Groups E–H played all their matches in Japan; the stadiums in Daegu, Suwon and Saitama all hosted 4 matches each, while the other 16 stadiums hosted 3 matches each. Notably, no matches were played in Tokyo, making it the second capital of a host country not to have a World Cup venue. A cross denotes an indoor stadium. There was much controversy over the refereeing in the tournament. Questionable decisions in the match between Italy and South Korea resulted in 400,000 complaints, featured in ESPN's 10 most fabled World Cup controversies; the match between Spain and South Korea featured two controversially disallowed Spanish goals, which Iván Helguera referred to as "a robbery" and led to Spanish press brandishing the officials "thieves of dreams", though FIFA
S.V. Zulte Waregem
Sportvereniging Zulte Waregem known as Zulte Waregem or by their nickname Essevee, is a Belgian professional football club based in Waregem, West Flanders. Zulte Waregem plays in the Belgian First Division A, their highest finish at the highest level was second place in 2012–13. They have won two Belgian Cups, they qualified for the 2006 -- 07 UEFA Cup. In the seasons 2013-2014 and 2017-2018 they managed to play in the Europa League group stages. On both occasions the club ended 3rd in their group; the club is a product of a partnership in 2001 between Zultse VV and KSV Waregem, a former first division regular. No merger was applied. Zulte Waregem first reached the highest level in Belgian football by winning the 2004–05 second division; the club uniforms are green. They play their home matches at the former stadium of KSV Waregem. Zulte Sportief directly became a member of the national association; the club Zultse V. V. was started after the 1976 merger between Zulte Sportief and S. K. Zulte. In 2001, the team merged with K.
S. V. Waregem, who had played in the first division for many years. No team from Zulte achieved promotion to the second division before S. V. Zulte Waregem in 2002. Zultse V. V. though, gained access to the third division in 1995. The club finished 14th out of 16 for two seasons and was relegated the second time after the playoff. In 1999, the season in which it came back, Zultse finished fourth in this division. Two years the new club became champion of the 3rd division A; the registered office of Zulte Waregem lies in Zulte, but the club is based in the stadium of K. S. V. Waregem in Waregem and the red and white colours of K. S. V. Waregem prevail; the club got a chance to shine on the European stage during the 2006–07 UEFA Cup, reaching the round of 32, playing against English club Newcastle United, although they lost 4–1 on aggregate. Their second European appearance was in the 2013–14 season, as Zulte Waregem finished second in 2012–13 Belgian Pro League and qualified for the third qualifying stage of the 2013–14 UEFA Champions League, where they lost to PSV.
Zulte Waregem dropped to the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League play-off round, where they defeated APOEL, drawing 1–1 at home and winning 1–2 in Nicosia thanks to a late goal from Jens Naessens. At the group stage, they were drawn alongside Wigan Athletic and Maribor. Zulte Waregem started with a draw against Wigan. After, they lost to Rubin and Maribor, but managed to defeat Maribor at Ljudski vrt and Wigan at DW Stadium. A loss against Rubin at home and Maribor's win over Wigan eliminated Zulte Waregem from the European competition. In the 2016–17 season, Zulte Waregem drew an average home attendance of 9,578. Zulte Waregem plays; the stadium used to be the home of K. S. V. Waregem until the withdrawal of the club, it has a capacity of 12.250 and has been renovated to host European games.. The hospitality accommodations and the field can be seen their own Virtual Tour or on Google Streetview; the Regenboogstadion meets UEFA's requirements for hosting European games, so Zulte Waregem's home matches can be played in their own stadium, which they did in de 2017-2018 Europa League competition.
Zulte Waregem has an average attendance of 9.500 people at home games. Belgian Pro League: Runners-up: 2012–13 Belgian Second Division: Winners: 2004–05 Belgian Cup: Winners: 2005–06, 2016–17 Runners-up: 2013–14 Belgian Supercup: Runners-up: 2006, 2017 As of 5 January 2019Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Eddy van den Berge Francky Dury Bart De Roover Hugo Broos Darije Kalezić Francky Dury Official Website Zulte Waregem at UEFA. COM Zulte Waregem at EUFO. DE Zulte Waregem at Weltfusball.de Zulte Waregem at Football Squads.co.uk Zulte Waregem at Football-Lineups.com
Club Brugge KV
Club Brugge Koninklijke Voetbalvereniging referred to as just Club Brugge, is a football club based in Bruges in Belgium. It was founded in 1891 and its home ground is the Jan Breydel Stadium, which has a capacity of 29,062. One of the most decorated clubs in Belgian football, it has been Belgian league champion on 15 occasions, second only to major rivals Anderlecht, it shares the Jan Breydel Stadium with city rival Cercle Brugge, with whom they contest the Bruges derby. Throughout its long history, Club Brugge has enjoyed much European football success, reaching two European finals and two European semi-finals. 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 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 ClubClub created by old students of the Catholic school Broeders Xaverianen and the neutral school Koninklijk Atheneum.
13 November 1891: Club recreatedThe club was recreated. This has since been adopted as the official date of foundation. 1892: First boardAn 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 UBSSAFinancially it was difficult for FC Brugeois and so after only one year they had to leave the UBSSA. 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 KlokkeThey moved to a new stadium named "De Klokke". 1913–14: First cup finalFC Brugeois reached their first Belgian Cup final but they lost 2–1 from Union SG. 1920: First time league championsThe 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 and in the same year they get the royal title.
1928: First relegationA first low when the club was relegated to the second division. 1930: New statutePresident Albert Dyserynck changed the club's statute into a non-profit association. 1931: Albert DyserynckstadionWhen president Albert Dyserynck died they honoured him by changing the stadium's name into Albert Dyserynckstadion. 1959: Permanent to the first divisionRFC Brugeois promoted to the first division and never relegated again in the future. 1968: First time cup winnersThey 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 KV 1975: OlympiastadionThey moved from Albert Dyserynckstadion to Olympiastadion. 1976: Highest position in UEFA CupUnder Austrian coach Ernst Happel, Club Brugge reached the finals of the UEFA Cup and lost against Liverpool. 1978: Only Belgian European Cup 1 finalistsStill under Ernst Happel, the club faced Liverpool again of a European final.
This time it was in the European Champions Clubs' Cup final. And again they lost. Club Brugge is the only Belgian club that has reached the finals of the European biggest competition. 1992: First goal scorer in the Champions LeagueDaniel Amokachi is the first goal scorer in the Champions League. He scored against CSKA Moscow. 1998: Jan BreydelstadionOlympiastadion had to be expanded for the EURO 2000 organisation. They changed the name into Jan Breydelstadion. 2006: CLUBtvClub Brugge was the first Belgian club to create its own TV channel. The club don a blue home kit as has been traditional through their history. Away from home they wear a red strip; the clubs kit supplier is Macron. Club Brugge is the most supported club in Belgium, it has fans all over the country. Attendances are high; the Jan Breydel Stadium is sold out at every home game. Some of these fans are part of 62 supporter clubs in Belgium; the "Supportersfederatie Club Brugge KV", founded in 1967, is recognized as the official supporters club of Club Brugge.
In tribute the fans dubbed the twelfth man in football, Club Brugge no longer assigns the number 12 to players. Club Brugge has a TV show, CLUBtv, on the Telenet network since 21 July 2006; this twice weekly show features exclusive interviews with players and managers. The official mascot of Club Bruges is symbol of the city of Bruges; the history of the bear is related to a legend of the first Count of Flanders, Baldwin I of Flanders, who had fought and defeated a bear in his youth. Since the end of 2000, a second mascot, always a bear, travels along the edge of the field during home games for fans to call and encourage both their favorites; these two bears are called Bene. In 2010, a third bear named Bibi, made its appearance, he is described as the child of the first two mascots, is oriented towards the young supporters. Like many historic clubs, Club Brugge contests rivalries with other Belgian clubs, whether at local or regional level. At regional level, Club Brugge has maintained rivalry with a team in the neighboring province.
The successes achieved by Club Bruges in the early 1970s, combined with poor season performances by Gent in the same period, attracted many fans. Since the late 1990s, Gent again played a somewhat more leading role in Belgium, matches against Club Brug
Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht known as Anderlecht or RSCA, is a Belgian professional football club based in Anderlecht, Brussels Capital-Region. Anderlecht plays in the Belgian First Division A and is the most successful Belgian football team in European competitions, with five trophies, as well as in the Belgian domestic league, with 34 championship wins, they have won nine Belgian Cups and hold the record for most consecutive Belgian championship titles, winning five between the 1963–64 and 1967–68 seasons. 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 and in Europe since 1964-65, they won their first major trophy after World War II with a championship win in 1946–47. Since they have never finished outside the top six of the Belgian first division, they are ranked 12th amongst all-time UEFA club competition winners, tenth in the International Federation of Football History & Statistics 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, replaced the former Emile Versé Stadium. They play in white outfits, they have long-standing rivalries with Standard Liège. 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, 11–8, they joined the official competition in 1909–10, starting at the lowest level in the Belgian football league system the third provincial division. In 1912–13, they gained promotion to the second-higher level of football named the Promotion. After only one season at that level, the championships were suspended due to World War I, resumed in 1919–20. With the popularity of the team 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 club's first major patron, the industrialist Emile Versé. At the end of the 1920–21 season, Anderlecht were promoted to the first division for the first time in their history. In the next 14 seasons, Anderlecht were relegated four times and promoted four times, earning themselves the mockery of local rival clubs Union Saint-Gilloise and Daring Club de Bruxelles, who nicknamed them the "lift club". In 1933, 25 years after their formation, the club 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 following 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 of Andreas Beres, the club won five titles in a row, still a Belgian league record.
The star of this team was Paul Van Himst, topscorer in 1965, 1967 and 1969 and Belgian Golden Shoe winner in 1960, 1961, 1965 and 1974. Anderlecht played in the first European Champion Clubs' Cup in 1955–56, 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, which followed a 3–3 draw in Spain. For the first time, they advanced to the second round, where they beat CSKA Sofia before losing to Dundee in the quarter-finals. In the 1969–70 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, Anderlecht lost in the final against Arsenal. Between 1975 and 1984, Anderlecht only won one championship but they achieved considerable European success: they won the 1975–76 and 1977–78 European Cup Winners' Cups against West Ham United and Austria Wien as well as the two subsequent European Super Cups; the 1982–83 season was a noteworthy season for the club for numerous reasons: former Anderlecht favourite Paul Van Himst was named the new coach, they won the 1982–83 UEFA Cup and the rebuilding of the club stadium began.
But in the domestic league, Anderlecht had to settle for second place behind Standard. Their bid to retain the UEFA Cup in 1983–84 failed at the final hurdle against English side Tottenham Hotspur. Anderlecht reached the final controversially by beating another English side, Nottingham Forest, with a debatable extra time penalty to win 3–2 on aggregate, it was found Anderlecht had bribed the referee the equivalent of £27,000 to ensure passage to the final. After three second-place finishes in a row, the Purple and Whites secured an easy 18th title in 1984–85, 11 points ahead of Club Brugge. In 1985–86, Anderlecht won the championship again, but this time after a two-legged play-off against Club Brugge. Anderlecht won their 20th championship on the last matchday of the 1986–87 season, they lost key players Franky Vercauteren, Enzo Scifo and Juan Lozano. A weakened team coached by Raymond Goethals finished only fourth in 1988 behind Club Brugge, KV Mechelen and Royal Antwerp, but they nonetheless managed to lift the Belgian Cup for the sixth time in cl
Gilles De Bilde
Gilles De Bilde is a retired Belgian footballer who played as a striker. He played club football for Eendracht Aalst, Anderlecht, PSV, Sheffield Wednesday, Aston Villa and Willebroek-Meerhof, he was capped by Belgium at international level. At Eendracht Aalst, he won the 1994 Belgian Player of the Year and scored 21 goals in 33 league games during the 1994–95 season, he joined Anderlecht in the summer of 1995 and managed a further 22 goals in 46 Belgian First Division matches. In a match between Anderlecht and Aalst in December 1996, he punched Krist Porte in the face, which broke his nose and injured his eye. De Bilde received a suspended two-year prison sentence in 1992 for head-butting two boy scout leaders and, four months before the Porte incident, he head-butted one nurse and punched another when he was denied access to a hospital room his father was in, having suffered a brain haemorrhage. Johan Boskamp, Anderlecht's head coach, suggested. In January 1997, De Bilde was transferred to Dutch side PSV for £3m.
During his time in Eindhoven, he scored. His seven goals in eight league matches during the second half of the 1996–97 season helped PSV become Dutch champions, he joined Sheffield Wednesday in August 1999 and scored ten league goals in his first season with the club, but was unable to prevent them from being relegated from the Premier League. In October 2000, he joined Aston Villa on loan for three months, he made four league appearances for the club, without scoring, returned to Sheffield Wednesday in January 2001, where he stayed for the remainder of the season after a number of potential transfers failed to materialise. He returned to Anderlecht in July 2001 on a free transfer. Two years De Bilde joined Lierse, where he finished his professional career at the end of the 2003–04 season, he played for Willebroek-Meerhof of the Belgian Promotion between 2005 and 2007. De Bilde – who campaigned for a European ban on cat and dog fur – was fined by the club in 2006 for missing a match to mourn the death of one of his dogs.
De Bilde was capped 25 times by Belgium at international level. He was a member of the squad at Euro 2000 and made one appearance at the finals, in a 2–0 defeat against Turkey. After retiring, De Bilde became a regular football analyst on Belgian television, featuring on their domestic and Champions League coverage, he appeared as a model for Belgian fashion designer Dirk Bikkembergs, has appearanced on television shows involving celebrity challenges, including Dancing on Ice and Celebrity Shock. Gilles De Bilde at Soccerbase
Belgium the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, the North Sea to the northwest, it has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; the sovereign state is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. Its institutional organisation is structured on both regional and linguistic grounds, it is divided into three autonomous regions: Flanders in the north, Wallonia in the south, the Brussels-Capital Region. Brussels is the smallest and most densely populated region, as well as the richest region in terms of GDP per capita. Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups or Communities: the Dutch-speaking Flemish Community, which constitutes about 59 percent of the population, the French-speaking Community, which comprises about 40 percent of all Belgians. A small German-speaking Community, numbering around one percent, exists in the East Cantons.
The Brussels-Capital Region is bilingual, although French is the dominant language. Belgium's linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments. Belgium was part of an area known as the Low Countries, a somewhat larger region than the current Benelux group of states that included parts of northern France and western Germany, its name is derived after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, the area of Belgium was a prosperous and cosmopolitan centre of commerce and culture. Between the 16th and early 19th centuries, Belgium served as the battleground between many European powers, earning the moniker the "Battlefield of Europe", a reputation strengthened by both world wars; the country emerged in 1830 following the Belgian Revolution. Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa.
The second half of the 20th century was marked by rising tensions between the Dutch-speaking and the French-speaking citizens fueled by differences in language and culture and the unequal economic development of Flanders and Wallonia. 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. Despite the reforms, tensions between the groups have remained, if not increased. Unemployment in Wallonia is more than double that of Flanders. Belgium is one of the six founding countries of the European Union and hosts the official seats of the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, as well as a seat of the European Parliament in the country's capital, Brussels. Belgium is a founding member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD, WTO, a part of the trilateral Benelux Union and the Schengen Area. Brussels hosts several of the EU's official seats as well as the headquarters of many major international organizations such as NATO.
Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy. It has high standards of living, quality of life, education, is categorized as "very high" in the Human Development Index, it ranks as one of the safest or most peaceful countries in the world. The name "Belgium" is derived from Gallia Belgica, a Roman province in the northernmost part of Gaul that before Roman invasion in 100 BC, was inhabited by the Belgae, a mix of Celtic and Germanic peoples. 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; the Treaty of Verdun in 843 divided the region into Middle and West Francia and therefore into a set of more or less independent fiefdoms which, during the Middle Ages, were vassals either of the King of France or of the Holy Roman Emperor. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 15th centuries.
Emperor Charles V extended the personal union of the Seventeen Provinces in the 1540s, making it far more than a personal union by the Pragmatic Sanction of 1549 and increased his influence over the Prince-Bishopric of Liège. 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 comprised most of modern Belgium. This was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. Following the campaigns of 1794 in the French Revolutionary Wars, the Low Countries—including territories that were never nominally under Habsburg rule, such as the Prince-Bishopric of Liège—were annexed by the French First Republic, ending Austrian rule in the region; the reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, after the defeat of Napo