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post #1 of 1009 (permalink) Old September 15th, 2007, 10:39 Thread Starter
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The Standard de Liège Thread



ROYAL STANDARD DE LIÈGE

Founded: 1900
Ground: Stade Maurice Dufrasne, Liège
Capacity: 29,200
Chairman: Reto Stiffler
Manager: Michel Preud'homme
2006-07 Jupiler League: 3rd place

Club Culture
Standard is one of the most popular clubs in Belgium and historically the third most successful club in the Belgian First Division. The team is known as "Les Rouches" (The Reds) for the colour of their home shirts. Their home matches are played in the Stade Maurice Dufrasne, known as the "Cauldron of Sclessin". There are several notable supporter's groups, the four largest being "Hell-Side 81", "Ultras Inferno 96", "Kop Rouche", and "PHK" - each associated with different areas of the stadium.


History
The club was founded in 1900 by students at the College of Saint-Servais in Liège, though an administrative error records the date as 1898. Their inspiration for the name was Standard de Paris, a popular Parisian club at the time. A critical moment in the club's history was in the 1982 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, in which they were beaten by FC Barcelona in the final. In 1982, a scandal was revealed implicating several players and trainers in an alleged plan to influence other Belgian clubs to "ease off" toward the end of the season, that Standard might face Barcelona without injuries. In 1996, the club absorbed RFC Seraing. The Belgian titles stopped coming, yet the club remained very popular across Belgium - even in the Flemish north. The club appeared to see something of a resurgence in the 2005-2006 season, finishing the Jupiler League in second place, earning themselves a place in the Champions League qualifiers.


Honours

Belgian League
winner (8): 1957/58, 1960/61, 1962/63, 1968/69, 1969/70, 1970/71, 1981/82 , 1982/83
second (10): 1925/26, 1927/28, 1935/36, 1961/62, 1964/65, 1972/73, 1979/80, 1992/93, 1994/95, 2005/06

Belgian Cup
winner (5): 1954, 1966, 1967, 1981, 1993
finalist (9): 1965, 1972, 1973, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1999, 2000, 2007

Belgian League Cup
winner (1): 1975

Belgian Supercup
winner (2): 1981, 1983
finalist (2): 1993, 1982

UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
finalist (1): 1982


Individual trophies:

Golden Shoe (6):
* 1963 Jean Nicolay BEL
* 1969 Wilfried Van Moer BEL
* 1970 Wilfried Van Moer BEL
* 1972 Christian Piot BEL
* 1982 Eric Gerets BEL
* 2005 Sérgio Conceição POR

League top scorers (7):
* 1926/27 Lucien Fabry BEL
* 1955/56 Jean Mathonet BEL
* 1967/68 Roger Claessen BEL
* 1968/69 Antal Nagy HUN
* 1970/71 Erwin Kostedde GER
* 1977/78 Harald Nickel GER
* 1994/95 Aurelio Vidmar AUS

Young Professional Footballer of the Year (since 1983) (1):
* 1992/93 Michaël Goossens BEL

Professional Goalkeeper of the Year (since 1983) (7):
* 1984/85 Gilbert Bodart BEL
* 1985/86 Gilbert Bodart BEL
* 1991/92 Gilbert Bodart BEL
* 1994/95 Gilbert Bodart BEL
* 1998/99 Vedran Runje CRO
* 2000/01 Vedran Runje CRO
* 2005/06 Vedran Runje CRO

"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
Nelson Mandela
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post #2 of 1009 (permalink) Old September 15th, 2007, 10:41 Thread Starter
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I'm not planning to follow that closely what my favoiurite team in Belgium is doing but I thought it was a shame theat they didn't even have a thread in this forum. Here's an interesting article about them that appeared today on FIFA's website...


Revived Standard set fierce pace

If you are old enough, you are good enough. Perhaps the finest recent example of this old footballing adage comes from Belgium, where Standard Liege stand atop the first division after a flawless start to the league campaign. With five games gone the Walloon club boast a 100 per cent record, scoring an impressive 18 goals in the process.

All in all, that is a wholly unexpected beginning, particularly after the club bade farewell to the experienced trio of Milan Rapaic, Eric Deflandre and Sergio Conceicao during the close season, an exodus that prompted coach Michel Preud'homme to build for the future by drafting in some of the club's up-and-coming youth products.

It is this new generation of players that has powered Les Rouches, as they are known locally, to the top of the table. Leading the way is the magical midfield teenage triumvirate made up by the team's playmaker, captain and Belgium international Steven Defour, international team-mate and defensive midfielder Marouane Fellaini, and the right-sided U-21 international Axel Witsel.

"This is pretty unique in Belgium," acknowledges Defour when asked about the confidence the club has put in the three youngsters. "People often say it's easier to play with youngsters. In the case of Axel, Marouane and myself it's quality that counts. We all learned a lot last season, and like Marouane, we are more streetwise on the pitch now and that bit more mature too," adds the 19-year-old, who made his Jupiler League debut with Racing Genk two years ago.

Standard's midfield is completed by the left-sided Israeli Salim Toama, and the quartet is currently the most impressive unit in the Eerste Klasse, outperforming even the Anderlecht line-up of Jan Polak, Lucas Biglia, Ahmed Hassan and Jelle Van Damme. "With so many seasoned performers having moved on, Standard have decided to go for youth," comments the widely respected Marc Wilmots, a national team legend and now a shrewd scout with the Liege club.

"Giving Steven the captain's armband is something that's pretty consistent with that policy. The team has a very low average age, and even though 19 is perhaps a bit young to be leading a football team, I think it will really give a boost to the new training academy."

Fellaini bursts on the scene
Unlike Defour, Fellaini and Witsel signed their first professional contracts with Standard and wasted little time in forcing their way into the first-team set-up last season. A tall powerful holding midfielder, the technically gifted Fellaini found himself in the starting XI barely a month after signing his first professional contract. Thrown in at the deep end in a UEFA Champions League qualifying match against Steaua Bucharest in August 2006, the Brussels-born player, then 18, responded with a brilliant performance, holding on to his place for the rest of the season and relegating previous incumbent Sinrima Dembele to a bit-part role.

Following the springtime saga of his on-off contract extension (he finally signed an improved deal taking him up to 2011) and the disappointment of failing to shine in Belgium's semi-final defeat in the UEFA U-21 European Championship, Fellaini has gone from strength to strength this season and is already attracting admiring glances from the likes of Chelsea, Paris Saint Germain, Marseille and Tottenham Hotspur. "I don't chase needlessly so much, and make better decisions about when to go for the ball," he explains.

"Before I used to be exhausted at the end of games, whereas now I have a lot more energy left. I'm more aware of my attacking duties now and I've improved my aerial game too."

Fellow shooting star and youth international Witsel had to wait for the winter break before making his mark on the first team. Nurtured by Preud'homme, the homegrown prodigy emerged from the shadows last spring, overcoming his lack of experience to establish himself as a regular fixture in the Standard midfield. A versatile, two-footed player, the fresh-faced Witsel is relishing the opportunity to show off the gifts that the club has spent years helping to polish. "I've been at Standard for eight years, and I'm aware they've invested a lot in me," he said.

"I've experienced virtually everything with the national youth teams since I was 14. I've always kept the faith while a lot of youngsters have left the club. But did all of them succeed? Me, well, I just want to show that it's not impossible. I could be an example for others."

Maturity beyond its years
The other member of the talented trio is Steven Defour, a genuine rough diamond. Polished by Racing Genk between 2003 and 2006, Defour was not even old enough to sit his driving test when European giants Chelsea, Valencia and Ajax started expressing an interest in him. The youngster opted for Ajax but Genk stood firm, refusing to let their prodigy go. Although the player and his agent eventually won the day, his final destination was the Stade Sclessin, not the Amsterdam Arena.

Stationed on the right in his first season with Standard, he was promoted to playmaker and skipper last July. After making his international debut last spring, Defour has kicked on this term to become the most outstanding attacking midfielder in the Belgium squad, with some even describing him as the best player in the league full stop. Could Defour be the man to bring back the glory days to a club bursting with ambition but lacking, up to now at least, the resources to fulfil that long-cherished dream?

"There's something different about Standard," comments the fast-maturing midfield general, who has been the subject of fulsome praise from across France and Belgium for the last six months now. "Before the players used to lose it on the pitch, while the fans stayed calm. But this season, it's the supporters who are going crazy and the players who are taking everything in their stride. That just goes to show that this young team has already grown up."

A fine blend of youth and maturity has brought Les Rouches success so far this season. All of a sudden, Standard are starting to harbour thoughts of a first championship crown since 1983, long before their midfield wonderboys were even born.

"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
Nelson Mandela
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post #3 of 1009 (permalink) Old September 15th, 2007, 11:34
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Yes, Fellaini and Defour are the two biggest Belgian talents IMO. Unfortunately Standard has a bad habit of choking after the winter break.
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post #4 of 1009 (permalink) Old September 15th, 2007, 12:19
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You're a Standard fan Felipe ? Or became one due to the fact they had some Portuguese players last year ?

Well, Standard stays Standard. Beautiful stadium, great atmosphere, but no prizes. Maybe this year could be the change. It'll be exactly 25 years ago they've won the league title in May 2008

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post #5 of 1009 (permalink) Old September 15th, 2007, 14:05
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Standard will never win a title ...

#23 François Sterchele || 14/03/1982 - 08/05/2008

"Rêve comme si tu vivais éternellement, vis comme si tu mourais demain ..."
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post #6 of 1009 (permalink) Old September 15th, 2007, 14:22
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Quote:
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Standard will never win a title ...
:rollani:
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post #7 of 1009 (permalink) Old September 15th, 2007, 14:25
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They have proven me right more than once ... Standard are chokers, always have been and always will be.

#23 François Sterchele || 14/03/1982 - 08/05/2008

"Rêve comme si tu vivais éternellement, vis comme si tu mourais demain ..."
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post #8 of 1009 (permalink) Old September 15th, 2007, 14:26
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They have proven me right more than once ... Standard are chokers, always have been and always will be.
They won titles in the past already, so it's impossible for them to never win titles. Semantics, p.
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post #9 of 1009 (permalink) Old September 15th, 2007, 14:55
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First of all...great article
and a nice thread too...

I hope for them they strenghten their squad a little bit more and yes if the youngsters stay maybe they will have their title in 2-3 years.

I don't see Club Brugge, Racing Genk or AA Gent going for the title this year and probably Standard has more quality than those teams. RSCA has the most, depends what they do with it :rollani:

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post #10 of 1009 (permalink) Old September 15th, 2007, 15:03 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomRSCA
You're a Standard fan Felipe ? Or became one due to the fact they had some Portuguese players last year ?

Well, Standard stays Standard. Beautiful stadium, great atmosphere, but no prizes. Maybe this year could be the change. It'll be exactly 25 years ago they've won the league title in May 2008
Yes, I am a Standard fan and no it is not because they became a home for retiring Portuguese players lately that I've become one. I just like them although I must admit I also have a soft spot for Anderlecht's Sporting.
I don't know if it is more because of the name or due to the fact that as a kid I've seen them live stealing Benfica a UEFA Cup in Lisbon in the far away early 80s

"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
Nelson Mandela

Last edited by Filipe Reis; September 15th, 2007 at 15:50.
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post #11 of 1009 (permalink) Old September 15th, 2007, 15:04
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Nice thread. They're my favourite Belgian team too. Maybe they can challenge for the title this year, but I'm not sure. The fact that Jovanovic stays (until now at least) might improve the chances for a good season.

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post #12 of 1009 (permalink) Old September 15th, 2007, 15:07 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Referee
They won titles in the past already, so it's impossible for them to never win titles. Semantics, p.
I don't know if it is semantics or simply eye problems p

"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
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post #13 of 1009 (permalink) Old September 15th, 2007, 15:30
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Allez les Rouches!

My favourite Belgian team too .
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post #14 of 1009 (permalink) Old September 15th, 2007, 15:36
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A lot of people in my village are Standard fans, certainly more than there are Club or Anderlecht fans.
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post #15 of 1009 (permalink) Old September 15th, 2007, 15:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Filipe Reis
Yes, I am a Standard fan and no it is not because they became a home for retiring Portuguese players lately that I've become one. I just like them although I must admit I also have a spot soft for Anderlecht's Sporting I don't know if it is more because of the name or due to the fact that as a kid I've seen them live stealing Benfica a UEFA Cup in Lisbon in the far away early 80s
Last year they've shown a resume of those Anderlecht-Benfica games on the tv again. Was the first time I saw those images (I wasn't born already in 83 ). Huge difference with the current times. I really regret that I couldn't be at those games against teams like Benfica, Barcelona, etc ...

Well, Standard ... Standard stays an arch rival of us. Great fans, great club culture though. And finally they've changed into a club who gives their own youth a chance. The results they're archieving right now is surely thanks to their young midfield. I have to admit I'm a big fan of Witsel Also very positive is that they've kept Jovanovic. In other years he would have surely been sold. I quite believe they have a big chance this year to win the championship. They're playing good football, they score easely and they have that little bit of luck when needed (their first goal against Club Brugge for exemple). If they keep cool I see a team that can win the championship.

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post #16 of 1009 (permalink) Old September 15th, 2007, 21:57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomRSCA
Last year they've shown a resume of those Anderlecht-Benfica games on the tv again. Was the first time I saw those images (I wasn't born already in 83 ).
I remember the games ... those were the days, Belgian cups winning UEFA cups

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post #17 of 1009 (permalink) Old September 17th, 2007, 09:37
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No longer unbeaten. Result is alright imo. Drawing away to Gent is not really a shame. Would have been nice to capitalize on Anderlecht's draw to extent the lead, but this is alright.

16/09/2007 - AA Gent v Standard 1:1

Ploegopstelling:
Renard, Cammozzato, Sarr, Onyewu, Dante, Witsel, Fellaini, Defour, Dufer (72' Mulemo), Jovanovic (74' Mbokani), De Camargo

Doelpunt:
43' Igor De Camargo (0-1)
69' Bernd Thijs (1-1)

Gele kaarten:
73' Axel Witsel

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post #18 of 1009 (permalink) Old September 17th, 2007, 14:57
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AA Gent - Standard 1-1

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post #19 of 1009 (permalink) Old September 17th, 2007, 17:57
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The young midfield is great, Defour being a great captain and Fellaini a strong DM. The one I like the most is Witsel, such a talented player. If they can keep the team together this year, they will become champions.

In the same generation as Fellaini and Witsel was this kid Gael Arend, who was said to be the biggest talent of his generation. Last year he was loaned out to a club in second division, does anyone know where he is this year? And what about Yannis Papasarantis? Any good?

Help me, Jeebus!!!
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post #20 of 1009 (permalink) Old September 19th, 2007, 18:19
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Apparently Milan Jovanovic is not fit enough to make the trip to the new Leningrad. Will be a huge miss for Standard. With his pace an dribbles he could force somthing on the counter attack in Russia.

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