Numerous figures in Belgian football have paid tribute to legendary former Anderlecht manager Michel Verschueren, who has passed away aged 91.
Verschueren is perhaps the most important person in Anderlecht’s history, and one of the most important in Belgian football as a whole.
He was the club’s manager from 1980 to 2003 and enjoyed enormous success in that spell, winning one UEFA Cup and eleven league titles.
He had an enormous impact on the club off the pitch too, playing a huge part in the renovation of the stadium and other facilities.
Following his passing, tributes have poured in from a number of high-profile figures in the sport.
Vincent Kompany was managed by him at Anderlecht during his first season in senior football.
“Last night we lost one of the great leaders in the history of Belgian football,” said the Burnley manager.
“Mister Michel single-handedly led Belgian football to modern times and made RSC Anderlecht a household name in Europe, both on and off the pitch. Today, the club is still building on its legacy.
“Michel was unique in his kind. A dedicated, intelligent and decisive club manager, and above all: a loyal servant of the core values of the club. That’s not how they’re made anymore. It was an honour to have played for RSCA under his leadership.”
Frank Vercauteren played under him at Anderlecht for seven years and also served as his assistant manager for another seven.
“I have known Mister Michel in good and bad times and he was always equally respectful and correct,” he said.
“Wherever I trained, he never behaved differently towards me. The contact was never lost and he regularly sent me congratulations for one or the other. In that respect, he was unique as a human being.
“I never had a fight with him, not even heavy discussions. He remained human and loyal, values that many people do not know.”
Luc Nillis was also an Anderlecht player during his reign.
“Verschueren was for me the man who was always at the club, working there day and night,” he said.
“And if there was something on his mind, he would say it, right in your face. And just because he was there all the time, he was also aware of everything.
“What I really appreciated was that he said to every new player who spoke to him with Mr Verschueren: ‘It’s Mister Michel.’ He knew Anderlecht.”