Top 1000: the best players in the French championship (540-531)

Erwin Vandenbergh
Lille (1986-1990)

When he arrived in Lille at the end of the summer of 1986, Erwin Vandenbergh was a star. The Belgian indeed arrives from Mexico, crowned with a fourth place in the World Cup and multiple solicitations across Europe. An agreement is even concluded with FC Barcelona, ​​​​for the striker Argentina’s scorer in the World 1982. But to everyone’s surprise, VDB declines the Catalan offer, to join the North of France.

His wishes? Staying as close as possible to his native Belgium, which he had just bent with gunfire, on the side of Lierse – 117 goals and European Golden Shoe in 1980 – or Anderlecht – 87 achievements, winner and finalist of the UEFA Cup in 1983 then 1984 -, to finish at the top of the ranking of scorers in the league five times (1980, 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1986), but also to join his compatriots Georges Heylens (coach of LOSC, who personally convinced him to sign), and Philippe Desmets, his playmate in the selection. The beautiful story can then begin. Not for long actually.

Indisputable holder for four seasons (114 games and 38 goals, from 1986 to 1990), the striker scores regularly, finishing as the club’s best pyrotechnician in 1988 (11 goals) and 1989 (14 achievements), to allow his team to easily maintain , failing to secure a place for Europe. A player appreciated by Grimonprez-Jooris supporters, praising his fighting spirit. But this strong character will be precisely at the origin of his departure. Desired by Standard de Liège from 1988, VDB began a standoff with its management, reluctant to let go of the one on whom it had just let go of a certain investment. “Vandenbergh came to us three years ago. He signed a five-year contract, carrying out a fine financial transaction, said Bernard Gardonthen sporting director of Lille. This time, for the same reasons, he wants to leave and finds a thousand pretexts to show a bad will that does not honor him. So much so that when we say that French players have no professional conscience, it’s nothing compared to Vandenbergh. » The relationship between the two parties is broken, which does not prevent the person concerned from finding the net despite a slight lack of will. It was finally necessary to wait until 1990 to reach the outcome, Erwin Vandenbergh joining La Gantoise. Where he will be crowned top scorer in the championship in his first season. To not change.


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Peggy McColl

Mentor l NY Times Bestselling Author. Hi, I'm Peggy McColl, and I'm here to deliver a positive message to you!

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