Well here we are. After 10 years or more of watching, reading about, writing about, talking about and, occasionally, crying about Belgian football, I’ve finally got around to blogging about it. If I have a touchstone, it’s Timmy Simons. He was just emerging at Lommel when I started writing about Belgian football and he’s gone on to play for and captain Club Brugge, PSV and Belgium. Recently, he’s been recalled to the Belgian national squad and is winding down his career in the Bundesliga.
Rather like the country, he’s self-effacing, reliable, multilingual, flexible and he knows he’s never going to be a world leader. He knows his place and he’s made the most of his talents. Unlike Belgium, though, he is not at all quirky. The country is basically mad, with its seven governments, three national languages – not including English which many politicians use to talk to each other- and hundreds of different beers. Boring it is not and that is why I love football in this country. Sometimes watching a match is like going to a game in the 1960s in the UK, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s only Belgian football but I like it!