Club Brugge beat Antwerp 3-1 on Sunday to win its third successive Belgian championship, its fourth in five seasons, and its 18th overall.
In 2021, the club, managed by Philippe Clément, succeeded in retaining its title for the first time since 1978. On Sunday, the Blue Blacks also equalled the hat-trick they earned between 1976 and 1978 under the stewardship of Austria’s Ernst Happel, Belga News Agency reports.
In 2019-2020, the Covid-19 pandemic forced the Pro League to a premature end after the 29th day of the regular season. Brugge was in the lead at the time so was declared champion but never had a chance to stake its claim to the title on the field.
This year, although Philippe Clément left for A.S. Monaco in mid-season, the Blue Blacks were able to hold on to their title under the guidance of Dutchman Alfred Schreuder, who can now celebrate his first personal champion’s title before heading off to Ajax next season.
A high point in the championship playoffs was the 2-0 away victory against Union Saint-Gilloise last weekend. Three days later, Brugge won again, this time on its home turf, at the Jan Breydel Stadium (1-0).
Brugge had ended the regular phase of the championship in second place, three points behind the astonishing Union Saint-Gilloise squad, which had moved back into the top slot.
Before that, De Ketelaere and his teammates had chalked up a string of eight successive wins.