After the departure of Vincent Kompany from Anderlecht last week, Belgium’s biggest club is set to replace the club legend with the manager of their Brussels rivals, Felice Mazzù – one of the chief architects of Union Saint-Gilloise’s dream season.
In a move which is likely to further inflame the local rivalry between the two major clubs in Brussels, which hail from neighbouring municipalities and are only separated by the Midi-Zuid railway line.
"I will never forget the two unique seasons at Union Saint-Gilloise. I want to thank the players, staff and management who gave me the opportunity to work on the project," Mazzù said in a press release on Tuesday.
"I want to use my experience and passion to bring the biggest club in Belgium back to where it belongs. I look forward to meeting the players and fans as soon as possible," he added.
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On 20 June, Mazzù will start preparations for the new season with his new group of players. At 56, Mazzù said he is "incredibly eager" to take on a new challenge, and "honoured to wear the emblem of this club."
"I will continue to work on the foundations of a project that fits in with the vision of the club and the expectations of the fans," he said. "It will be my job to link the football identity and style of the house with results, and to integrate and develop young players."
Last season, Mazzù narrowly missed out on winning the Champions' Play-offs with Union, after leading the league table for almost the entire season immediately after being promoted to Belgian football’s top division.
Winning prizes again
On Friday evening, he was spotted meeting with several Anderlecht executives at a restaurant, and the clubs put his contract in order over the last few days.
On Tuesday, RSC Anderlecht's chairman Wouter Vandenhaute said that while the club "has come a long way," it has always managed to place itself among the best four during the past two seasons. "The ranks within the club are closed again around a strong management, supported by stable shareholders. The next step is to win prizes again."
"We are convinced that Felice Mazzù will help us do so. He is a professional and an excellent people manager," he said. "And just like us, he has the ambition to make Anderlecht the number one in Belgium again."
This is Mazzù's second chance at a Belgian top club, after a failed adventure at Racing Genk in 2019.