Over and out: Belgian football clubs' European adventure ends

It was a disappointing night yesterday for Belgian clubs in Europe. Anderlecht, Union Saint-Gillois and KAA Gent were all knocked out at the quarter-final stage of their respective competitions.

Union's Europa League quarter-final second leg against Bayer Leverkusen ended in a 4-1 defeat, meaning a 5-2 defeat on aggregate following their 1-1 draw in Germany last week. In the Conference League, Anderlecht lost 2-0 to AZ Alkmaar. With the tie standing at 2-2 on aggregate, the match went to extra time and penalties, with Anderlecht losing the shootout 4-1. KAA Gent also fell short in their match against West Ham United, losing 4-1 on the night and 5-2 on aggregate.

Despite the disappointment, Belgium have enjoyed their most successful year in Europe, Sporza reports, with a club coefficient of 14,200 points. This number ranks clubs in the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League and is used to determine seeding. Only England, Spain, Germany and Italy did better.

As a result, Belgium have secured a place in the 2024-25 Champions League group stages, meaning the winner of next season's Jupiler Pro League will not have to go through a round of qualifying first.


Anderlecht goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen in the defeat against AZ Alkmaar © BELGA PHOTO VIRGINIE LEFOUR

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