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2016 – 2019: PERFECTING THE FORMULA FOR SUCCESS

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After the well-deserved and long-awaited 14th championship trophy, Club was hungry for more. A disappointing European campaign showed everyone that there were still areas to improve in, but the Blue and Blacks were acquiring the pieces that were needed to stay on top of Belgian football. The last season under Michel Preud’homme didn’t bring any silverware other than the Supercup in the summer, but at the end of a 3-year spell, it can’t be stressed enough how much Preud’homme and his staff have meant for the development of the Club.

To the surprise of many analysts and pundits, Club appointed ex-player Ivan Leko as the new manager for the first team in the summer of 2017. Coming from STVV, the Croatian didn’t have an impressive resume, but he made up for that in passion and his approach to football. An early end to the European adventure gave the doubters ammunition, but with an attacking 3-5-2, Club took the league by storm, cruising to the first place and staying there for the entire season. Newly appointed captain Ruud Vormer established himself as one of the best goal providers in Europe and got rewarded with his first Golden Shoe, the second of a unique four-in-a-row Club would win in those years.

 

It didn’t matter who got sold for a record amount or what happened off the field, Club Brugge was always in contention for the title. In Europe, a third place in the Champions League group stage with a few impressive results at Dortmund and Monaco turned some heads. Reaching consecutive group stages via the difficult qualifiers under new head coach Philippe Clement did that even more. Off the field, Club kept selling players like Wesley Moraes and Arnaut Danjuma for always growing numbers, while breaking their own transfer record multiple times to bolster the squad. With the new Belfius Basecamp and plans for a 40.000 seater stadium next to the old Jan Breydel, the future looks bright for the pride of Bruges.