Champions League – Signs of life from the Benelux countries

The days when Bruges was once an insider tip among tourists are long gone. Every weekend, the medieval city centre, freed from car traffic, becomes the meeting point for a host of foreign visitors. More than six million are there year after year.

Many come from neighbouring Germany to visit the 118,000-inhabitant city in the province of West Flanders, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000 and European Capital of Culture in 2002. The fact that the city has once again made it onto the map of the Champions League raises the self-esteem of those residents who are associated with Club Bruges. FC Bruges, as the club is usually called abroad, will welcome Borussia Dortmund from the Bundesliga on Tuesday(9 p.m.).

Regular guest in the Europapokal

Anyone who has already taken part in a total of 47 European Cup competitions – 19 of which in the Champions League or in the predecessor competition, the European Cup of National Champions – has every right to see himself as a regular guest. And yet it is a long time ago that Belgian clubs were perceived as stylistic elements.

With globalisation and commercialisation, the best players moved on earlier and earlier; almost all the top performers of the “Red Devils”, who narrowly missed the final at this year’s World Cup, have long since been employed by the big Premier League clubs in England. It would therefore be an achievement if the current champions could keep up with Dortmund, Atletico Madrid and AS Monaco in a group.
Old star Ceulemans is a realist

“We have to be honest. For Belgian clubs, the Champions League group stage is all about third place and progress in the Europa League. Everything is a different dream,” stresses Jan Ceulemans. The former star player, one of the best strikers on the continent in the 80s and 90s, must know.

The 61-year-old is still intensively following European club football, and Ceulemans knows how the balance of power has shifted in favour of the few global players. “Money may not be a guarantee of success, but it increases the chances of success. Financially, Belgian clubs could not even begin to keep up with the big leagues. History is the encouragement when Bruges plays against BVB in the Jan Breydel stadium: in 2003 the “Blauw en Zart” shocked Borussia in the play-offs to the top league, after which they tumbled into the big (financial) crisis.

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Jan Ceulemans Honours


Club Brugge
  • Belgian First Division: 1979–80, 1987–88, 1989–90
  • Belgian Cup: 1985–86, 1990–91
  • Belgian Supercup: 1980, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992


  • UEFA Euro 1980: Runner-up
  • 1986 FIFA World Cup: Fourth place


  • Belgian professional football awards: 1984, 1985, 1986
  • Belgian Golden Shoe: 1980, 1985, 1986
  • UEFA European Championship Team of the Tournament: 1980
  • Onze de Bronze: 1981
  • FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 1986
  • FIFA 100

Belgium’s national players almost all abroad

Nowadays the economic and sporting differences are enormous. Most of Belgium’s international matches were made up of Bruges’ squad of striker Jelle Vossen, who played twelve times but was not nominated for the World Cup. There was only one pro from the Pro League in Russia – Leander Dendoncker from RSC Anderlecht.

Belgian football is ninth in the UEFA five-year standings and can therefore send its title holder directly to the group stage of the Champions League. A privilege that neighbouring Netherlands does not enjoy. In 14th place in this ranking, Holland’s champions and runners-up must first make the tedious detour through the qualifying process.

Both PSV Eindhoven (against BATE Baryssau) and Ajax Amsterdam (against Dynamo Kiev) won on the way to the championship. The Benelux countries are thus bringing three starters onto the illuminated stage. Especially for the dying Dutch football, whose “Elftal” recently crunched both the qualification for the European Championship 2016 and the World Cup 2018 gambled away, an encouraging signal.

Eindhoven as underdog

For Eindhoven, however, it could hardly have been worse. FC Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur and Inter Milan are the opponents in Group B – and the big favourites as well. But what did Mark van Bommel hire in his home club for, please? Van Bommel, once chosen by Ottmar Hitzfeld to be his “Aggressive Leader” at FC Bayern and still co-coach of his father-in-law Bert van Marwijk for Australia at the World Cup, has never given in without resistance.

Van Marwijk also hired PSV adviser, while van Bommel succeeded Philipp Cocu as head coach. For him, the draw was an encounter with his own past, as he played both in Barcelona and Milan (where he played for Milan).

For the opening task in Barcelona at Camp Nou (Tuesday 18.55), the slogan is to pull yourself out of the affair – and not to take a beating. The best known player in Germany from the Eindhoven squad is probably the nimble Mexican Hirving Lozano, who, as is well known, sent the lethargic DFB team onto the boards with his winning goal in the first World Cup group match. Titanbet is neither in the top or in the bottom of the list of the best online casino.

Here you can see the CL games

The long wait has come to an end! After the start of the Bundesliga, the international competitions are now picking up speed.

While the BVB started into the Champions League on Tuesday with a 1-0 win against FC Bruges, Schalke 04 had to settle for a 1-1 win against FC Porto. On Wednesday, FC Bayern Munich and TSG Hoffenheim will be on the international scene.

Champions League today LIVE at DAZN and Sky

On Wednesday Sky shows the game Benfica Lisbon – FC Bayern Munich (21 o’clock). In addition to the live match of Bayern, Sky will also show all matches in the conference call.

The Champions League premiere of Cristiano Ronaldo Anzeige: Here it goes to Ronaldo´s Biography in the jersey of Juventus Turin against FC Valencia the fans can follow live on DAZN. (21 o’clock).

On DAZN you can also watch the games Real Madrid – AS Roma, Manchester City – Olympique Lyon, Young Boys Bern – Manchester United and Viktoria Pilsen – ZSKA Moscow (all 21 o’clock).

Already at 19:00 DAZN shows the games Ajax Amsterdam – AEK Athens as well as the royal class debut appearance of TSG Hoffenheim against Schachtjor Donezk.

Champions League 2018/19 only on Pay-TV

In the Champions League, DAZN will be involved in the 2018/19 season for three years and shares the exclusive rights with Sky, which is why the premier league will only be shown on pay-TV. Of the 125 games of the new season, DAZN will broadcast 104 live, Sky will play 34 individual games.

DAZN and Sky will broadcast the semi-finals and finals in parallel. After the live matches DAZN and Sky will show the highlights of all games of the evening.

The final is also an exception to the rule. Should a German team make it into the final, the match must also be broadcast on free-to-air television. This is provided for in the Interstate Broadcasting Treaty.

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Picking system between Sky and DAZN

In the preliminary round of the Champions League there will be a negotiated picking system between Sky and DAZN. On the first day of the group match, Sky will have the first right to vote for a match – both on Tuesday and Wednesday – while DAZN will broadcast the remaining matches live. This scenario is repeated on match days three and five.

On match days two, four and six, DAZN will be allowed to select its favourite match on Tuesday before Sky follows. On Wednesday, the first right to vote will go to Sky again, while DAZN will show the remaining games as on all group match days. As far as conferences are concerned, Sky will have the rights throughout the season if at least two games are played at the same time.

Fantalk live on SPORT1

If you don’t have a paid subscription to Sky or DAZN and don’t want to miss out on the Champions League, SPORT1 offers the perfect programme. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays on Champions League evenings, presenters Thomas Helmer and Oliver Schwesinger lead through the Fantalk, which is the ideal accompanying programme to the current matches. Betrally gives bonuses to the new players and they are accessible to many countries.

Information, entertainment, discussion and analysis already during the 90 minutes: Anyone who can’t watch the games on Pay-TV is in the right place. In addition to the new members Tim Wiese and Celia Sasic, Peter Neururer, Mario Basler, Olaf Thon and Oliver Pocher make up the team of experts.