Royal Antwerp FC, also known as Antwerp FC is one of the oldest football clubs in Belgium but in the entire Europe. The club was founded in the 1880s by English students residing in Antwerp.
Antwerp was the first club to join the Royal Belgian Football Association in 1895. Till then they have won the Belgian League title five times, and the Belgian Cup four times including a double in the 2022-23 season.
The Belgian club also has a history in European competition as well. In 1992-93, they reached the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup final and lost to Parma. For the first time in its history, Antwerp will play a UEFA Champions League match on 19 September 2023 against La Liga giant FC Barcelona.
Let’s look at some fun facts about Royal Antwerp FC:
- Antwerp FC was founded in 1880 as a cricket club in Belgium. At that time football culture was not present in Belgium, hence it didn’t join any football league at that time.
- The club has a fierce rivalry with Club Brugge and Beerschot VA.
- Antwerp FC is known for its young player development. Many players who dominated Europe have started their careers at Antwerp FC. E.g.: Toby Alderweireld, Danny Simpson, John O’Shea, Jelle Van Damme, and many more.
- Antwerp FC has a nickname of ‘The Great Old’ as this is the oldest club in Belgium.
- Paul Gheysens, a real estate investor and developer is the owner of Antwerp FC.
- The biggest win of Antwerp FC came against KFC Duffel in the 1990-91 season when Antwerp thrashed Duffel by 8-0.
- The heaviest defeat of Antwerp was 10-1 when they faced RFC Tilleur in the 1964-65 season.
- The most expensive departure in Antwerp’s history is Gastón Ávila (Left-Back) as Ajax signed him for €12.50m in the 2023-24 season.