Filip Dewulf is a former tennis player and Belgium’s n°1 in the nineties. Who doesn’t recall Filip reaching the semis at Roland Garros? After his playing career, he joined Flemish newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws as their journalist covering tennis around the world.
5 minutes with...
Since when have you been a fan, and what’s the story behind it?
I became a fan in the early 80ies as Standard was simply the best team in Belgium and they played with so many different players from Limburg: Gerets, Daerden, Poel, Vandersmissen, etc. They really made a lasting impression on me as a boy. On top of that there was always this electric atmosphere that you could sense even on tele or when listening to the radio. When I was young I always listened to the legendary commentator Clem Van Wonterghem on the radio.
Why do you feel Sclessin is so unique in Belgium?
As I said earlier, you know that there is always something waiting to happen. We have had many highs and equally many lows. There is always a lot of emotion surrounding the club, which makes a normal quiet season fairly exceptional. The improbable loyalty of the fans and their capacity to carry that weight their entire life is simply outstanding and unseen in Belgium.
When did you attend your first game?
That must have been in the 80ies. My dad wasn’t a big hero behind the wheel so was hesitant to take me far away. He didn’t want to risk going to Sclessin, but agreed to take me to RFC Liégeois as their stadium was next to the motorway. That’s the reason why my first games were the derbies. I might have watched games of my local team Beringen as well in those days. We lived a couple of minutes from the stadium and I did have a lot of sympathy for my local club.
Who was your favorite player, and why?
That’s a difficult question. I haven’t really seen the great generation with Simon Tahamata for example. I was a big fan of Andre Cruz: vista, Brazilian flair and technically so gifted. On top of that he had this wonderful free kick ability. He was really an outstanding player, and it didn’t surprise me that he was able to join big teams such as Naples and AC Milan.
What does your golden eleven look like?
Eric Gerets – André Cruz – Oguchi Onyewu – Dante
Frans Van Rooy – Guy Hellers – Guy Vandersmissen – Axel Witsel
Simon Tahamata – Michy Batshuayi
Subs: Gilbert Bodart, Jelle Van Damme, Steven Defour, Sergio Conceição, Michael Goossens