This page contains a list of the greatest Belgian Soccer Players. The pantheon dataset contains 16,880 Soccer Players, 218 of which were born in Belgium. This makes Belgium the birth place of the 13th most number of Soccer Players behind Uruguay and Russia.
The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Belgian Soccer Players of all time. This list of famous Belgian Soccer Players is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Belgian Soccer Players.
With an HPI of 60.52, Jean-Marie Pfaff is the most famous Belgian Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 42 different languages on wikipedia.
Jean-Marie Pfaff (born 4 December 1953) is a Belgian former professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper who spent most of his professional career with Beveren and Bayern Munich. Pfaff was capped 64 times playing for Belgium, and participated at the 1982 FIFA World Cup and 1986 FIFA World Cup tournaments.
With an HPI of 58.87, Michel Preud'homme is the 2nd most famous Belgian Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 36 different languages.
Michel Georges Jean Ghislain Preud'homme (born 24 January 1959) is a Belgian retired footballer and manager who played as a goalkeeper. Currently, he is vice-president and sports director at Standard Liège. He was considered one of the world's best and most consistent goalkeepers during his professional career; he was the first winner of the Yashin Award as the best goalkeeper at the 1994 FIFA World Cup. At club level, Preud'homme played for Standard Liège, Mechelen and Benfica. With Mechelen, he won the Belgian Cup in 1987, the Cup Winner's Cup and the European Super Cup in 1988 and the Belgian league title in 1989. He also won the Portuguese Cup with Benfica in 1996. He retired as a player in 1999, aged 40. For Belgium, Preud'homme was capped 58 times, from 1979 to 1995. Other than the 1994 World Cup, he also played in the 1990 tournament.
With an HPI of 58.81, Paul Van Himst is the 3rd most famous Belgian Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 32 different languages.
Paul Van Himst (born 2 October 1943) is a Belgian former football player and a football manager who played as a forward, most notably for R.S.C. Anderlecht.
With an HPI of 57.31, Jan Ceulemans is the 4th most famous Belgian Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 38 different languages.
Jan Anna Gumaar Ceulemans (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈjɑn ˈkøːləˌmɑns]; born 28 February 1957) is a Belgian former professional footballer who played as an attacking midfielder. A prolific goalscorer, Ceulemans was known for his stamina, aerial ability and technique. He was also known for his power, imposing frame and natural authority.Ceulemans was also a regular member of the Belgium national football team, with 96 international appearances, a record that stood for 26 years until it was surpassed by Jan Vertonghen's 97th appearance for Belgium on 10 October 2017; Ceulemans is now the ninth most-capped for Belgium. Most of his time with Belgium took place under the guidance of Guy Thys. 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.
With an HPI of 55.90, Wilfried Van Moer is the 5th most famous Belgian Soccer Player. Her biography has been translated into 22 different languages.
Wilfried van Moer (1 March 1945 – 24 August 2021) was a Belgian footballer who won the Belgian Golden Shoe three times, first in 1966 while at Antwerp then in 1969 and in 1970 while at Standard Liège. Prior to 1966 Van Moer played with Beveren. He returned to his first club after a spell at Beringen in the early 1980s. He played 57 times and scored nine goals for the Belgium national team between 1966 and 1982, starting in a 1–0 friendly win against Switzerland on 22 October 1966. Van Moer was in the team for the 1970 and 1982 World Cups and for the Euro 1980 in which Belgium finished second.
With an HPI of 55.75, Romelu Lukaku is the 6th most famous Belgian Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 74 different languages.
Romelu Lukaku Bolingoli (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈroːmeːlu luˈkaːku]; born 13 May 1993) is a Belgian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Serie A club Inter Milan, on loan from Premier League club Chelsea, and the Belgium national team. Lukaku began his senior club career playing for Anderlecht, where he won a Belgian Pro League title and finished as the league's top goalscorer. In 2011, he joined Chelsea in a transfer worth £10 million (€12 million), but limited playing time resulted in loans to West Bromwich Albion and Everton; in 2014, Lukaku signed with Everton in a then club-record transfer worth £28 million (€32 million), going on to finish as the league's second-top goalscorer. He subsequently signed with Manchester United in a transfer worth £75 million (€88 million), but after a breakdown in relations with the club, Lukaku departed for Inter Milan in 2019 in a club-record deal worth €80 million (£68.1 million), and won a Serie A title and Serie A Most Valuable Player. In 2021, Lukaku returned to Chelsea in a club-record transfer worth £97.5 million (€115 million), becoming the seventh-most expensive player, the most expensive Belgian player, and the most expensive player of all time with reference to cumulative transfer fees. Belgium's all-time top goalscorer, Lukaku made his senior international debut in 2010, and has represented his country at five major tournaments: the 2016 and 2020 UEFA European Championships and the 2014, 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups; he finished as joint second-highest goalscorer to win the Bronze Boot in 2018.
With an HPI of 55.50, Herbert Wimmer is the 7th most famous Belgian Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 36 different languages.
Herbert "Hacki" Wimmer (born 9 November 1944) is a German former professional footballer who played as a midfielder. Besides winning five national championships and two UEFA Cups with his club side Borussia Mönchengladbach, he won the 1974 World Cup and the UEFA Euro 1972 with Germany.
With an HPI of 55.06, Thibaut Courtois is the 8th most famous Belgian Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 73 different languages.
Thibaut Nicolas Marc Courtois (born 11 May 1992) is a Belgian professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for La Liga club Real Madrid and the Belgium national team. Regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, he is known for reflexes, acrobatic saves, and command of the penalty area.Courtois began his career with Genk and made his senior debut in 2009, at age 16; he went onto establish himself as the club's starting goalkeeper and won the Belgian Pro League. In 2011, Courtois signed for Chelsea in a transfer worth a reported £8 million (€9 million), but he then joined Atlético Madrid on loan. There, Courtois won a La Liga title, the Copa del Rey, the Europa League, and reached the UEFA Champions League final. He returned to Chelsea in 2014 and won two Premier League titles and the EFL Cup. In 2018, Courtois signed for Real Madrid in a deal worth a reported £35 million (€38.8 million), becoming La Liga's most expensive goalkeeper, and where has gone onto win two La Liga titles and the Champions League. Courtois made his senior international debut for Belgium in 2011 at age 19, becoming their youngest senior international goalkeeper. He has since earned over 100 caps, ranking sixth-highest for apperances, while he has appeared in five major tournaments. At the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Courtois won the Golden Glove as the best goalkeeper as he helped Belgium finish third, their highest-ever finish at the competition. Courtois has won the Ricardo Zamora Trophy three times, the Premier League Golden Glove once, was named the third-best goalkeeper of the decade (2011–2020) by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS).
With an HPI of 54.78, Eden Hazard is the 9th most famous Belgian Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 82 different languages.
Eden Michael Walter Hazard (born 7 January 1991) is a Belgian professional footballer who plays as a winger or attacking midfielder for La Liga club Real Madrid. Known for his creativity, dribbling, passing and vision, Hazard is considered one of the best players of his generation.Hazard is the son of two former footballers and began his career in Belgium playing for local youth clubs. In 2005, he moved to France, where he began his senior career with Ligue 1 club Lille. Hazard spent two years in the club's academy and, at the age of 16, made his professional debut in November 2007. He became an integral part of the Lille team under manager Rudi Garcia. In his first full season, he became the first non-French player to win the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year award, and the following season became the first player to win the award twice. In the 2010–11 season, he was a part of the Lille team that won the league and cup double and, as a result of his performances, was named the Ligue 1 Player of the Year, the youngest player to win the award. After making over 190 appearances and scoring 50 goals for Lille, Hazard signed for English club Chelsea in June 2012. He won the UEFA Europa League in his first season and the PFA Young Player of the Year in his second. In the 2014–15 season, Hazard helped Chelsea win the Football League Cup and Premier League, earning him the FWA Footballer of the Year and the PFA Players' Player of the Year awards. Two years later he won his second English league title as Chelsea won the 2016–17 Premier League. In 2018, he won the FA Cup, and was named in the FIFA FIFPRO Men's World 11. He won the Europa League again with Chelsea in June 2019. At Chelsea, Hazard established himself as one of the best players in the world. He joined Real Madrid in the summer of 2019 in a transfer worth up to €150 million, making it one of the highest transfer fees ever, however continuous injuries resulted in Hazard playing a limited amount of games and declining in performances. Having represented his country at various youth levels, Hazard made his senior debut for the Belgium national team in November 2008, aged 17, in a friendly against Luxembourg. Nearly three years after his debut, Hazard scored his first international goal against Kazakhstan in October 2011. He has since earned over 126 caps, and was a member of the Belgian squad which reached the quarter-finals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2016, and Euro 2020. At the 2018 World Cup, he captained Belgium to third place which was their best finish in history, receiving the Silver Ball as the second-best player of the tournament. From 2015 to 2022, he served as the captain of the team, including the time Belgium topped the FIFA men's ranking for the first time, which became the longest continuous reign of any European team.
With an HPI of 54.25, Enzo Scifo is the 10th most famous Belgian Soccer Player. His biography has been translated into 36 different languages.
Vincenzo "Enzo" Daniele Scifo (Italian pronunciation: [ˈɛntso ʃˈʃiːfo]; born 19 February 1966) is a retired Belgian football midfielder. He has also managed the Belgium national under-21 football team and several Belgian club sides. He played for clubs in Belgium, France and Italy, where he won several domestic titles. At international level, he was a member of the Belgium national team, for which he appeared in four FIFA World Cups, being one of three Belgian players ever to do so.
Pantheon has 218 people classified as soccer players born between 1886 and 2002. Of these 218, 175 (80.28%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living soccer players include Jean-Marie Pfaff, Michel Preud'homme, and Paul Van Himst. The most famous deceased soccer players include Wilfried Van Moer, Bernard Voorhoof, and Raymond Braine. As of April 2022, 24 new soccer players have been added to Pantheon including Henri De Deken, Hector Goetinck, and Wilfried Puis.
1953 - Present
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1945 - 2021
1910 - 1974
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1886 - 1943
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1908 - 1978
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Which Soccer Players were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Soccer Players since 1700.