The official website for European football

Leekens eager to seize second Belgium chance

Published: Tuesday 11 May 2010, 15.18CET
Georges Leekens is aiming to restore Belgium to former glories after becoming the Red Devils' coach again, saying: "I am very proud that I have been given the chance to do this job for a second time."
by Berend Scholten
Leekens eager to seize second Belgium chance
Georges Leekens has returned for a second spell as Belgium coach ©Getty Images
Published: Tuesday 11 May 2010, 15.18CET

Leekens eager to seize second Belgium chance

Georges Leekens is aiming to restore Belgium to former glories after becoming the Red Devils' coach again, saying: "I am very proud that I have been given the chance to do this job for a second time."

Georges Leekens said he is aiming to "play good football and reach UEFA EURO 2012" after being officially presented as the new coach of the Belgian national team.

Leekens, who turns 61 next week, has signed a two-year contract with the option of a further two years, and succeeds Dick Advocaat, who parted company with the Belgian Football Association (URBSFA-KBVB) last month. In a previous spell as coach from January 1997 to August 1999, Leekens led Belgium to the 1998 FIFA World Cup finals.

"I am very proud that I have been given the chance to do this job for a second time," said Leekens, most recently coach of KV Kortrijk. "The most important thing for us is to get results in the near future, try to play good football and reach UEFA EURO 2012. I will do my best to bring Belgium back to the level where they belong."

Leekens – once a tough-tackling defender nicknamed 'Mac the Knife' − called up five new players for the upcoming friendly against Bulgaria on 19 May: Kortrijk protégés Christian Benteke and Laurent Ciman along with Kevin De Bruyne (KRC Genk), Jonathan Legear (RSC Anderlecht) and Christophe Lepoint (KAA Gent).

"I have a young and talented group at my disposal," he said. "I am aware that quality alone is not enough, but that an exemplary mentality, match intelligence and organisation are necessary too. The players must show positive spirit and passion when they wear the national-team shirt. I am ambitious and we must all work together."

Belgium face Germany, Turkey, Austria, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying Group A. The Red Devils have not appeared in the finals of a major tournament since the 2002 World Cup.

Last updated: 11/05/10 15.35CET

Related information

Player profiles
Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/news/newsid=1487068.html#leekens+eager+seize+second+belgium+chance

UEFA.com features

What teams need to get through
  • What teams need to get through
  • Watch the five best acrobatic Champions League goals
  • Ones to watch in the group stage
  • Masterclass: Xavi on passing and control
  • Newcomers ready for Champions League debuts
  • Pick of the Week of Football
  • Berezovski and Frick join Europe's 40-somethings
  • Europe's all-time top international goalscorers
  • Introducing football in Gibraltar ...
  • Given has 'unfinished business' with Ireland
1 of 10
  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.