's complete coverage of the FIFA World Cup 2002 World Cup


Belgium, Midfielder
World Cup Record: 1982, 1986 (4th), 1990
  Ceulemans clashes with Diego Maradona at the 1982 finals. Steve Powell/Allsport

Jan Ceulemans was the outstanding member of a Belgian side good enough to finish second at the 1980 European Championship and reach the semifinals in Mexico in 1986.

A tireless midfielder, Ceulemans' stamina allowed him to extend his creative influence over every square meter of the pitch. Nothing illustrated that better than his contribution to Belgium's first round 1-1 draw with Hungary in 1982 when he would run 80 meters with the ball to set up Alexandre Czerniatynski's equalizing goal.

Belgium impressed in Spain, beating reigning champion Argentina on its way to the second round, but it was in Mexico that it would really catch the eye.

Ceulemans scored vital goals in a thrilling 4-3 win over the Soviet Union in the second round and in the quarterfinals, where Belgium beat Spain on penalties after a 1-1 draw, before Maradona single-handedly ended the Red Devils' unlikely run.

In Italy, Belgium would reach the second round again, losing in cruel fashion in the second round when England scored in the last minute of extra time after 119 scoreless minutes. Ceulemans played 96 times for his country and consolidated his status as a national hero by turning down AC Milan to spend 13 years with Club Bruges.

Previous | Next | Full List

Have your say