Michel Preud'homme

Michel Preud'homme

Preud'homme in 2008
Personal information
Full name Michel Georges Jean Ghislain Preud'Homme
Date of birth (1959-01-24) 24 January 1959
Place of birth Ougrée, Belgium
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Club Brugge (manager)
Youth career
1969–1977 Standard Liège
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1977–1986 Standard Liège 240 (0)
1986–1994 Mechelen 263 (0)
1994–1999 Benfica 147 (0)
Total 650 (0)
National team
1979–1994 Belgium 58 (0)
Teams managed
2001–2002 Standard Liège
2006–2008 Standard Liège
2008–2010 Gent
2010–2011 Twente
2011–2013 Al-Shabab
2013– Club Brugge

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Michel Georges Jean Ghislain Preud'Homme,[1] commonly known as Michel Preud'homme, is a former Belgian professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper, and coach of Club Brugge in the Belgian Pro League.

He is considered one of the world's best and most consistent goalkeepers during his career;[2] he was the first winner of the Yashin Award as the best goalkeeper at the 1994 World Cup.

On 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 edition.[3]

Club career

Standard Liège

Preud'homme is a product of Standard Liège's youth system which he joined 10 years old in 1969. He was first called up to the first team in 1977. He made his senior debut on August 1977, after an early injury of the main goalkeeper Christian Piot and his successor John Paul Crucifix.[4]


Preud'homme went to KV Mechelen in 1986.


Preud'homme moved to Benfica in 1994, becoming the first foreign goalkeeper in Benfica history. He made his debut on 21 August, against Beira-Mar. On 18 May 1996, Michel won his first trophy in Portuguese football as Benfica defeated Lisbon rivals Sporting 3–1 in the Portuguese Cup final.[5]

For his outstanding performances and almost impossible saves, he was nicknamed by Benfica fans "Saint Michel". On 10 August 1999, Preud'homme played his last match, an off season friendly against Bayern Munchen. After his retirement, at the age of 40, Preud'homme became Benfica's Director of International Relations.[6]

International career

Preud'homme made his senior debut on 2 May 1979 in a 0–0 draw with Austria in a UEFA Euro 1980 qualifying match.[7] Preud'homme served as third keeper behind Jean-Marie Pfaff and Theo Custers in the UEFA Euro 1980 as Belgium lost in the final against Germany.[8]

He represented the nation in two consecutive FIFA World Cups: 1990 and 1994 – his last competition, where he was awarded with the Yashin Award for best goalkeeper,[9] and was included in the FIFA World Cup All-Star Team.[10]

He made his final appearance for Belgium on 17 December 1994 in 1–4 loss against Spain, in a UEFA Euro 1996 qualifying match.

Style of play

A world-class, elegant, efficient, and consistent goalkeeper, Preud'homme was mainly known for his excellent shot-stopping abilities, quick reflexes, agility, strength, tenacity, handling, and his ability to come off his line to collect crosses, as well as his tendency to produce spectacular and decisive saves.[11][12][13][14][15]

Managerial career

After his professional football career, Michel Preud'homme stayed at Benfica to become technical director. In September 2000, he suggested the club to attract José Mourinho to become the head coach. At that time, Mourinho was just an interpreter at F.C. Barcelona. Preud'homme met Mourinho when he once visited Barcelona.[16]

Standard Liège

Preud'homme has been the head coach of Standard Liège twice, the first time from December 2000 to May 2002 and the second time from August 2006 to the end of the 2008 season. After leaving his technical director duties at Benfica, Preud'Homme replaced Tomislav Ivić on 20 December 2000.[17] On May 2002, he left his coach position and became Standard's sporting director.[18]

On 30 August 2006, after Dutchman Johan Boskamp was sacked due to poor results, Preud'homme left his sporting director duties and became Standard's manager for the second time in his career.[19] After Preud'homme's return, Standard Liège won in 2008 its first Belgian Championship in 25 years,[20] and it therefore came as a surprise when he was appointed manager of Gent for the 2008–09 season.[21]


Preud'homme moved to K.A.A. Gent on 27 May 2008. With Gent he finished second in the Jupiler Pro League, this was their highest place ever (together with the 1954–1955 season). He also won the Belgian Cup, it was the third time in the history of the club that they won that trophy.


On 23 May 2010, it was confirmed that Preud'homme would replace Steve McClaren as the head coach of FC Twente,[22] despite the interest of FC Porto and AC Milan. On 31 July 2010, Preud'homme won his first trophy in Dutch football as Twente defeated Ajax 1–0 in the Johan Cruijff Schaal match. In the last competition match of the season, Twente lost to Ajax and that meant the Dutch title went to Amsterdam and Twente became runners-up. On 8 May 2011, Twente defeated Ajax 3–2 after extra time in the KNVB Cup final held at the De Kuip in Rotterdam.

Al-Shabab Riyadh

On 13 June 2011 FC Twente confirmed on its website Preud'homme's departure to Saudi Arabia club Al-Shabab Riyadh.[23] By the end of the transfer window, Preud'homme brought Brazilian central midfielder Fernando Menegazzo and Uzbekistani midfielder Server Djeparov.

On 10 September 2011, Al-Shabab won 3–1 at Al-Faisaly in Preud'homme's first Saudi Professional League game as manager. On 10 March 2012, he succeeding RSC Anderlecht coach Ariel Jacobs on winning the Guy Thys Award, the prize for the coach who most contributed to the image of his profession and football.[24]

On 14 April 2012, after a 1–1 draw against Al-Ahli, Al-Shabab clinched the Saudi Professional League title after six years since they had won it for the last time. Shabab finishing the league undefeated, with 19 victories and 7 draws.[25] At the end of the season, he was won the Saudi Arabia Manager of the Year award.[26]

On 10 May, Preud'homme was rewarded with a new contract extension, running until 2016.[27] On 18 September 2013, he and Al-Shabab agreed to part ways, allowing him to sign for Club Brugge one day later.[28]

Club Brugge

After Juan Carlos Garrido was fired, Preud'homme was appointed head coach of Club Brugge on 19 September 2013.[29] Six days later, he made his debut in a 1–0 win against KSV Oudenaarde. At the end of the season, Preud'homme signed a new contract to remain as Club Brugge manager till 2019.[30]

On 11 February 2015, Preud'homme reached his third Belgian Cup Final, after eliminating rivals Cercle Brugge 8–3 on aggregate. On 22 March 2015, he won that final against rivals Anderlecht. It was the first trophy for Club Brugge in eight years. At the end of the season, Preud'homme was voted Belgian Professional Manager of the Year for the second time.[31]

Preud'homme started the new season losing the 2015 Belgian Super Cup to K.A.A. Gent. In the Belgian Cup, Brugge won 0–2 in the quarter-final against Westerlo. On 3 February 2016, they eliminated Gent on the away goals rule to reach the Cup Final for the second year in a row.[32] Brugge lost the match 2–1 to Standard Liège.

On 15 May 2016, after finishing first in the regular season, Preud'homme won the Jupiler Pro League with Club Brugge in a 4-0 win over Anderlecht. It took the club 11 years since their last victory in the Belgian competition.[33] On 23 May, Preud'homme was voted Manager of The Year for the third time, the second consecutive.[34]

Career statistics


Year Friendlies World Cup European Championships Total
Pld GA Pld GA Pld GA Pld GA


1979 00001010
1981 00230023
1987 00002222
1988 47100057
1989 20650085
1990 6744131114
1991 20005373
1992 25510076
1993 11440055
1994 3244351011
Total 20 22 26 21 12 13 58 56

Managerial statistics

As of 3 December 2016
Team From To Record
M W D L Win % Ref.
Standard Liège 20 December 2000 5 May 2002 60 25 22 13 41.67
Standard Liège 30 August 2006 26 May 2008 81 51 17 13 62.96
Gent 27 May 2008 22 May 2010 89 46 20 23 51.69
Twente 23 May 2010 13 June 2011 53 31 12 10 58.49
Al-Shabab Riyadh 13 June 2011 18 September 2013 67 42 15 10 62.69
Club Brugge 19 September 2013 Present 180 105 28 47 58.33
Total 530 300 114 116 56.60



Standard Liège


Standard Liège
Club Brugge




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  2. "Courtois flying high for club and country". FIFA.com. 9 June 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  3. Michel PreudhommeFIFA competition record
  4. "Le miracle Preud'Homme". Retrieved 3 February 2016.
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  7. Austria - Belgium, Footballdatabase.eu, Retrieved 26 May 2013
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  14. GRAHAME L. JONES (26 June 1994). "WORLD CUP USA '94 / THE FIRST ROUND : Preud'Homme Had the Feeling, so Dutch Get Burned". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  15. Alec Cordolcini. "UNA FAVOLA CHIAMATA MALINES" (in Italian). Storie di Calcio. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  16. "Jose Mourinho's first boss Michel Preud'homme eyes scalp of Manchester United as Club Bruges travel to Old Trafford". Daily Mail. 2017-08-17. Retrieved 2016-02-03.
  17. "Preud'homme substitui Ivic" [Preud'homme replaces Ivic] (in Portuguese). TSF. 21 December 2000. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  18. "Preud'Homme deixa de ser treinador no final da época" [Preud'Homme will no longer be coach at the end of the season] (in Portuguese). TSF. 29 March 2002. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  19. "Preud'homme the man for Standard". UEFA. 2006-08-30. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  20. Scholten, Berend (24 February 2006). "Preud'homme's high Standard". UEFA.com. Retrieved 24 September 2007.
  21. "Preud'homme to coach Ghent". FIFA. 2008-05-27. Retrieved 2009-05-23.
  22. http://www.football-transfers.co.uk/football-rumours/fc-twente-appoint-michel-preudhomme-as-new-coach
  23. "Michel Preud'homme naar Al-Shabab". FC Twente (in Dutch). 13 June 2011. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
  24. 1 2 "Preud'homme wint Guy Thys Award" [Preud'homme wins Guy Thys Award]. Voetbalprimeur. 2012-03-10. Retrieved 2016-05-27.
  25. "Al-Shabab crowned Saudi champions". arabnews. 2012-04-15. Retrieved 2012-04-15.
  26. 1 2 "Preud'homme pakt koffers bij Al Shabab" [Preud'homme packed suitcases at Al Shabab]. Voetbalprimeur. 2013-09-19. Retrieved 2016-05-27.
  27. "Preud'homme prolonge à Al-Shabab". footgoal. 2012-05-10. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
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  29. "Club Brugge fire Garrido, Enter Preud'homme". benefoot. 19 September 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  30. "Michel Preud'homme at Club until 2019". Club Brugge. 25 May 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  31. 1 2 3 "Preud'homme is "Coach of the Year"". De Redactie. 19 May 2015. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  32. "Club slaat Gent knock-out en speelt bekerfinale". sporza.be. 3 February 2016. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  33. "Club Brugge end 11-year Belgian title wait". uefa.com. 15 May 2016. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  34. 1 2 "Hanni is Profvoetballer van het Jaar, ook Preud'homme, Bailey, Sels, Ndidi en Simons bekroond" [Hanni's Football Player of the Year, also Preud'homme, Bailey, Sels, Ndidi and Simons won]. nieuwsblad.be. 2016-05-23. Retrieved 2016-05-27.
  35. "Michel Preud'homme - International Appearances". rsssf. 31 March 2011. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  36. 1 2 3 "Michel Preud'homme". Eurosport. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  37. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Michel Preud'homme coach profile at Soccerway. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  38. 1 2 "OVERZICHT. Wie waren de voorgangers van Gouden Schoen-winnaar Matias Suarez?". Het Nieuwsblad. 2012-01-11. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  39. "IFFHS' World's Best Goalkeeper of the Year". RSSSF. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  40. "Preud'homme winnaar Rinus Michels Award" [Preud'homme wins Rinus Michels Award]. voetbal primeur. 2011-05-29. Retrieved 2016-02-06.

External links

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