Belgian 1986 World Cup Star Demol Dies Aged 57

Demol -- at 20 was the youngest member of the Belgium team in the 1986 World Cup.

Photo combo of Young and Old Stéphane Demol


Belgium National pivotal player, Stephane Demol, who helped the country to reach the 1986 World Cup semi-finals died of a heart attack in Brussels on Thursday, his first club Anderlecht said.

After starting at Anderlecht, Demol, 57 a centre-back, played for a host of clubs including Bologna, Porto, Toulouse, Standard Liege and Toulon.

“Steph will be sorely missed by our club and by Belgian soccer as a whole”, said the Anderlecht statement.

Demol — at 20 the youngest member of the Belgium team — scored with a header in extra time as the Belgians eliminated the Soviet Union 4-3 in the last 16 in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.

“It was his only goal in 38 matches for the national team, but it will remain forever engraved in the history of Belgian soccer”, Anderlecht stated.

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Demol and Belgium, though, were unable to deny a Diego Maradona-inspired Argentina in the semi-finals losing 2-0.

He was assistant to national team coach Rene Vandereycken between 2005 and 2008. He had been without a club since 2016, when he left Saudi Arabian side Hajer.

At the age of 34, Demol called it quits on his playing career after spending one year each with amateurs SK Halle and FC Denderleeuw, where he also started his managing career.

In 1990, he was named to the all-star team together with superstars like Peter Shilton and Marco van Basten.