K.R.C. Genk

Not to be confused with KRC Genk Ladies.
Racing Genk
Full name Koninklijke Racing Club Genk
Nickname(s) Blauw-Wit (Blue-White), Racing, KRC, De Smurfen (The Smurfs)
Founded 1988 (merged with KFC Winterslag)
Ground Luminus Arena, Genk
Ground Capacity 24,956
21,500 (UEFA matches)[1]
Chairman Belgium Herbert Houben
Manager Belgium Peter Maes
League Belgian Pro League
2015–16 Belgian Pro League, 4th
Website Club home page

Koninklijke Racing Club Genk (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈkoːnɪŋkləkə ˈreːsɪŋ ˌklɵp ˈxɛŋk])[2] is a Belgian professional football club based in the city of Genk in Belgian Limburg. Racing Genk plays in the Belgian Pro League and have won three championship titles; in 1998–99, in 2001–02 and in 2010–11. They also won four Belgian Cups, most recently in 2008–09 and in 2012–13. They qualified for the UEFA Champions League group stage in the 2002–03 and 2011–12 seasons.

The club formed in 1988 by the merger of Waterschei Thor with KFC Winterslag, from which it took over the matricule number. It has been one of the most successful clubs in Belgium since the late 1990s and so they regularly qualify for European competitions. The club has been playing in the first division since the 1996–97 season. They play their home matches in the Luminus Arena. Their main outfit is blue and white.


KFC Winterslag history (1923–88)

The club FC Winterslag was founded in 1923 and that gave it the matricule number 322. On its 35th anniversary the club added the Royal prefix Koninklijke to their name to become KFC Winterslag. In 1972–73 Winterslag reached the second division and they eventually qualified for the 1974–75 Belgian First Division after finishing second in the second division final round. They had taken advantage of the increase in the number of first division clubs (from 16 to 20). The club ended the season in last place but won the second division right after.

KFC Winterslag reached the 5th place in 1981 but two seasons later it was relegated to the second stage after a disappointing last place. That season Standard Liège won the championship on bribery in a match against the club of Waterschei Thor that would eventually merge with the matricule number 322. Following a spell of four seasons in the second division, Winterslag found its place again in the first division by winning the 1987 final round, one point ahead of Tongeren. It finished 15th on 18 but at the end of the season, the club merged with the neighbour club of Waterschei Thor which was playing in the second division since its relegation in 1986.

K Waterschei SV Thor Genk

K Waterschei SV Thor was created in 1919 as Waterschei's Sport Vereeniging Thor with Thor being the acronym of Tot Herstel Onzer Rechten (English: To recover our rights). It received matricule number n°533. The club enjoyed a spell in the first division in the late 1950s to the early 1960s and again from 1978 to 1986. After two seasons in the second division, K. Waterschei SV Thor Genk merged with KFC Winterslag to form KRC Genk.

During the 1982–83 season, the match between Standard Liège-Waterschei had been fixed and Standard eventually won the championship. Waterschei won the Belgian Cup twice (1980 and 1982). Quite remarkably, the latter victory led to Waterschei reaching the semi-finals of the European Cup Winners Cup in the 1982–83 season. After defeating PSG in the quarter-finals, Waterschei lost the first leg of the semi-final 5–1 at Pittodrie Stadium, home of the eventual winners, Aberdeen A 1–0 victory in Waterschei, courtesy of Eddy Voordeckers, could not reverse the position. They then merged with Winterslag in 1988 to form the current club.

K.R.C. Genk history (1988–present)

The new club was named KRC Genk and as it kept the Winterslag ranking, it began in the first division but finished last. The next year Genk managed to win the final round in 2nd division and then played 4 seasons in the first division. In 1995 the club hired Aimé Anthuenis a coach and Racing finished second and skipped the final round as two first division teams merged (Seraing and Standard Liège). After an eighth place in 1997, the club had a good 1997–98 season with a cup win and a second place in the championship. In its first European season, Racing Genk eliminated successively Apolonia Fier and MSV Duisburg but it lost to Mallorca in the round of 16 after two draws (1–1 on aggregate) in the last Cup Winners' Cup ever. The season was ended well as Genk won its first Belgian championship in May, with manager Aimé Anthuenis then moving to Anderlecht.

Genk played in the UEFA Champions League in 1999–00 but lost in the second qualifying round to Maribor. The season was salvaged by winning the Belgian Cup again, this time to Standard, but Genk ended the championship in 9th place. It finished 11th in the following season and lost in the UEFA Cup second round to Werder Bremen after a win against FC Zürich. After this poor spell, Genk managed to win the championship once more in the 2001–02 season. In 2002–03, they reached the Champions League group stages for the first time in their history. Although they came 4th, they impressed fans with draws against Real Madrid, Roma and AEK Athens.

In the 2006–07 season, Genk finished second to Anderlecht. The Limburgians had been ahead almost the entire season but were pipped at the post by Anderlecht after losing at Germinal Beerschot. The 2007–08 season was a disaster, as Genk didn't even manage to finish in the top half of the division, ending with a disappointing tenth place.

Three bad seasons followed. Genk finished the 2007–08 season 45 points and a 10th spot in the league: the worst result in seven years. The 2008–09 season was bad for Genk as well, finishing 8th in the domestic league. The season ended on a positive note with by winning the Belgian Cup, which gave them a ticket to the fourth Europa League qualifying round. The 2009–10 season Genk started off badly when they were kicked out of the Europa League by Lille. Things didn't go well in the domestic league either. Manager Hein Vanhaezebrouck was fired in December and was replaced by Franky Vercauteren. Genk finished 11th, but Vercauteren managed to lead the club to European football by beating derby rival Sint-Truiden in the final of Play-offs II.

The 2010–11 season started well for KRC Genk when they beat Inter Turku with 1–5 in Finland. They progressed to the 4th qualifying round of the Europa League and drew the Portuguese club Porto. Genk lost both games against Porto, despite two good performances.

On 30 January 2010 KRC Genk announced that coach Franky Vercauteren signed a new contract that runs till June 2013.

They only lost their first game of the season on the 20th matchday and started the Play-offs in second place. The club won the 2010–11 Belgian Pro League after drawing 1–1 with title challengers Standard Liége.[3] This was KRC Genk's third League win in its existence and its supporters celebrated with a pitch invasion straight after the final whistle.

On 11 August, coach Frank Vercauteren confirmed he was leaving Genk and signed with Abu Dhabi club Al-Jazira. In the 3rd Qualifying Round of the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League KRC Genk beat FK Partizan over two legs and drew Maccabi Haifa in the play-off Round. Maccabi Haifa beat Genk 2–1 in the first leg in Israel, while the second leg was won by Genk with the same 2–1 score in Belgium. During the penalty shoot-out, goalkeeper László Köteles helped Genk to qualify by saving two penalties.[4] For the second time in its history, KRC Genk reached the group stages of the UEFA Champions League. They were drawn in Group E with Chelsea, Valencia and Bayer Leverkusen.

In late August 2011, Mario Been was announced as the new manager. The Champions League campaign was one with ups and downs. Genk managed to get a 1–1 result against both Chelsea and Bayer Leverkusen and a goalless draw against Valencia. Away from home, Genk lost all three games. The season in the Jupiler League was a difficult one, with Genk only just qualifying for the play-offs by finishing sixth in the regular competition. In the play-offs however, Genk started to play better and climbed up to third place. By finishing in third place, KRC Genk qualified for the third qualifying round of the Europa League.

The 2012–13 season started well for Genk by qualifying for the Europa League group stage after beating Aktobe and FC Luzern. In this group stage KRC Genk performed very well and ultimately won the group without a single defeat. Genk finished first with three points more than Basel and by doing so, qualified for the next round where they would face VfB Stuttgart. It would be the first time in the club's history that they played European football after Christmas. Stuttgart was the better of Genk over the two games. In the league, Genk qualified for the play-offs and performed well until the title was out of reach, fifth place was the result. Genk ended their season on a positive note, by winning the Belgian Cup. They defeated Cercle Brugge in the final, in front of 30,000 Genk fans.


In the 20162017 season Genk participate in the UEFA Europa League; they started playing in the second qualifying round and qualified for the third qualifying round (on 21 July 2016)[5] and the play-off round (on 4 August 2016).[6]

Youth academy

Genk is well known for its outstanding youth academy. In 2003 they built their youth center next to their stadium and set up a youth program with Ronny Vangeneugden. There are further plans to build a boarding school and some synthetic pitches. In the past and now, many young players have found their way through the youth system. Some examples are Yannick Carrasco (Atlético Madrid), Jelle Vossen (Club Brugge), Steven Defour (Burnley), Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace), Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Divock Origi (Liverpool) and Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City).


Winners (3): 1998–99, 2001–02, 2010–11
Runners-up (2): 1997–98, 2006–07
Winners (1): 1975–76
Runners-up (2): 1986–87, 1995–96
Winners (2): 1987, 1990
Runners-up (1): 1974
Winners (4): 1997–98, 1999–00, 2008–09, 2012–13
Winners (1): 2011
Runners-up (6): 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2009, 2013

European record

Updated 24 August 2011.
Competition A P W D L GF GA
UEFA Champions League 4 14 4 5 5 15 23
Cup Winners' Cup 1 6 3 3 0 16 3
UEFA Cup 2 9 4 2 3 15 15
UEFA Europa League 3 18 8 4 6 30 27
Intertoto Cup 2 10 6 1 3 22 13

A = appearances, P = matches played, W = won, D = drawn, L = lost, GF = goals for, GA = goals against.


Season Competition Round Club Home Away
1997 UEFA Intertoto Cup Group Faroe Islands B36 Tórshavn 5–0
Norway Stabæk 4–3
Russia Dynamo Moscow 2–3
Greece Panachaiki 4–2
1998–99 Cup Winners' Cup Q Albania Apolonia Fier 4–0 5–1
1R Germany MSV Duisburg 5–0 1–1
2R Spain Mallorca 1–1 0–0
1999–00 Champions League 2Q Slovenia Maribor 3–0 1–5
2000–01 UEFA Cup 1R Switzerland FC Zürich 2–1 1–0
2R Germany Werder Bremen 2–5 1–4
2002–03 Champions League 3Q Czech Republic Sparta Prague 2–0 2–4
Group Greece AEK Athens 0–0 1–1
Spain Real Madrid 1–1 0–6
Italy Roma 0–1 0–0
2004 UEFA Intertoto Cup 2R Bulgaria Marek Dupnitza 2–1 0–0
3R Germany Borussia Dortmund 0–1 2–1
Semi-finals Portugal União de Leiria 0–0 0–2
2005–06 UEFA Cup 2Q Latvia Liepājas Metalurgs 3–0 3–2
1R Bulgaria Litex Lovech 0–1 2–2
2007–08 Champions League 2Q Bosnia and Herzegovina FK Sarajevo 1–2 1–0
2009–10 Europa League PO France Lille 1–2 2–4
2010–11 Europa League 3Q Finland Inter Turku 3–2 5–1
PO Portugal Porto 0–3 2–4
2011–12 Champions League 3Q Serbia FK Partizan 2–1 1–1
PO Israel Maccabi Haifa 2–1 (pen. 4–1) 1–2
Group Germany Bayer Leverkusen 1–1 0–2
England Chelsea 1–1 0–5
Spain Valencia 0–0 0–7
2012–13 Europa League 3Q Kazakhstan Aktobe 2–1 2–1
PO Switzerland FC Luzern 2–0 1–2
Group Portugal Sporting CP 2–1 1–1
Switzerland Basel 0–0 2–2
Hungary Videoton 3–0 1–0
Round of 32 Germany VfB Stuttgart 0–2 1–1
2013–14 Europa League PO Iceland FH 2–0 5–2
Group Ukraine Dynamo Kyiv 3–1 1–0
Austria Rapid Wien 1–1 2–2
Switzerland Thun 2–1 1–0
Round of 32 Russia Anzhi Makhachkala 0–0 0–2
2016–17 Europa League 2Q Montenegro Budućnost 2–0 0–2 (pen. 4–2)[5]
3Q Republic of Ireland Cork City 1–0 2–1[6]
PO Croatia Lokomotiva 2–0 2–2
Group Spain Athletic Club 2–0 3-5
Austria Rapid Wien 1-0 2-3
Italy Sassuolo 3-1 TBD
Round of 32 TBD TBD TBD

Summary of best results

From the quarter-finals upwards:

UEFA Intertoto Cup:

- semi-finalists in 2004

UEFA club coefficient ranking

(As of 23 September 2016), Source: uefa.com website




First-team squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Netherlands GK Marco Bizot
2 Czech Republic DF Jakub Brabec
3 Serbia DF Bojan Nastić
4 The Gambia DF Omar Colley
5 Netherlands DF Sandy Walsh
6 Belgium DF Sébastien Dewaest
7 Greece FW Nikolaos Karelis
8 Ghana MF Bennard Kumordzi
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina MF Tino-Sven Sušić
14 Belgium MF Leandro Trossard
15 Belgium DF Dries Wouters
16 Belgium FW Dante Vanzeir
17 Belgium FW Holly Tshimanga
18 Ukraine MF Ruslan Malinovskyi (on loan from Shakhtar)
No. Position Player
19 Belgium MF Thomas Buffel (Captain)
20 Belgium MF Paolo Sabak
21 Finland DF Jere Uronen
23 Belgium MF Rubin Seigers
24 Spain MF Alejandro Pozuelo
25 Nigeria MF Wilfred Ndidi
28 Belgium MF Bryan Heynen
30 Belgium GK Nordin Jackers
31 Jamaica FW Leon Bailey
40 Belgium GK Gaëtan Coucke
41 Belgium DF Timothy Castagne
77 Tanzania FW Ally Samatta
Albania FW Albian Muzaqi

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
18 Belgium FW Siebe Schrijvers (at Waasland-Beveren)
22 Belgium FW Paolino Bertaccini (at Cercle Brugge)
26 Hungary GK László Köteles (at Waasland-Beveren)
No. Position Player
30 Belgium MF Senne Verbiest (at Lommel United)
40 Belgium DF Alessandro Ciranni (at MVV Maastricht)
71 Belgium MF Yoni Buyens (at KVC Westerlo)



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