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Eden Hazard seems to be the most on me”

Interview Paul Van Himst, the best Belgian footballer of the 20th century, is today 75

Eden Hazard seems to be the most on me”

Congratulations Polle. Where can you Paul Van Himst better to congratulate for his 75th birthday at the stadium of Anderlecht? That is still the home for the best Belgian footballer of the 20th century. The place where he revives, and even the loneliness drives him took after the death of his wife. Football is still his life. “No, it’s not going well with Anderlecht. But I continue to come. I must be busy.”

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Paul Van Himst: ‘75 means that I’m old, but I’m not complaining. Though I would occasionally, with all the knowledge I have now, even twenty years. I would have been better.” Jimmy Bolcina/photo news

Interview Paul Van Himst, the best Belgian footballer of the 20th century, is today 75

Eden Hazard seems to be the most on me”

Congratulations Polle. Where can you Paul Van Himst better to congratulate for his 75th birthday at the stadium of Anderlecht? That is still the home for the best Belgian footballer of the 20th century. The place where he revives, and even the loneliness drives him took after the death of his wife. Football is still his life. “No, it’s not going well with Anderlecht. But I continue to come. I must be busy.”

Jürgen Geril

BrusselAan the stadium of Anderlecht what to expect an older, RSCA supporter Paul Van Himst. “This is our master’, he calls us. “I follow mr. Van Himst since 1968. I remember his afscheidsmatch against a collection of stars. Pele and Cruyff did, but Van Himst received a standing ovation and all the fans had tears in their eyes. Thanks Polle, they chanted.’

Van Himst laughs shyly. ‘Where thou art yet speaking. Memories is not necessary, though. The world must spin.’

For your 75th birthday it is allowed, anyway, Paul?

‘75 means that I’m old, but I’m not complaining. I have some trouble with my back, but if I physically as well stay, I want to feel free to 95. Why not? Though I would occasionally, with all the knowledge I have now, even twenty years. I would have been better.”

Would the 20-year-old Van Himst in the current Anderlecht still everything is broken play?

“Someday I could go to Real Madrid.
But I was quickly married and had quickly three children. That I could do
not just leave?’

‘With the modern training methods and medical supervision, I would be physically stronger. How do you do that with us? Sometimes we were tired, but our blood was never drawn. Maybe I had occasionally iron is too short and therefore a vormdip, but no one knew. If we were weary, there came a man from the army with large tablets of vitamin C and that should solve everything.’

With what current footballer would you consider yourself to compare?

‘Eden Hazard, especially now that he goals. Eden is faster, but he is just like me well in the short space with the ball on the foot. Kevin De Bruyne is also my style, but I have the more for men that the action in the direction of the goal, such as the Hazard. De Bruyne plays more backward. As a Hazard’s development at Chelsea continues, he will soon be European Footballer of the Year.’

Van Himst or Hazard: who was better? However, that is a survey worth at the older football fans.

‘In retrospect, I had also to go abroad. Andras Beres, ex-trainer of Anderlecht, called me one day. He was friends with Puskas, the superspits of Real Madrid, and they wanted me at Real. I have no said because I’m too devoted to my family. I was quickly married and had quickly three children. That I could not just leave?’

Hazard could go to Real, you be also. You are indeed close to each other.

“You may also remember that I was at an Anderlecht played that a superpower was in Europe. With Jurion, Hanon… If Europe Cup I when in groups was organized as the current Champions League, we would each year have participated for group profit. Sometimes we had the bad luck that we in a first round against an other guitarist came out and then it was all or nothing. Okay, in 1963 we moved to the great Real of Puskas, Gento and Di Stefano by yonder 3-3 to play and at the Heysel 0-1 win. But such a stunt was not a success each year. But anyway, we went no memories.’ (laughs)

You follow the modern football, however, still intense, hey.

“Other programs on tv say nothing to me. Than follow I’d rather the Red Devils abroad. In the Premier League of course, but now Nainggolan at Inter, I look more Italian football. Already enjoy the Spanish Primera Division, my preference. Barcelona, Real… so technically cared for. Whoa. And if Anderlecht plays, then I am there also. At home or along on a European trip.’

Oei.

(laughs) Yes, you can not say that is good, hey. I find that to be slow going. They have the ball, but there is so little offensive movement. Compare should not actually, but at Barcelona or Real, there are always three or four attackers who are freely trying to make. I can see that at Anderlecht. But I continue to come. I must be busy.”

Football as a medicine against loneliness?

“It’s almost five years ago that my wife Arlette died of a lingering illness. That was a huge blow, but I have repacked. Until a few months ago, my grandson Youri have often with me to sleep, but meanwhile, am I the only are just. The household running was the hardest. Earlier I would never do nothing. Only worry for money on the shelf. Arlette cooked, fed the kids… And suddenly she wasn’t there any more.’

You cook in the meantime?

‘That now also again not. Only breakfast can I do to help me at home. Then I go to Brésor, the coffee roaster I used to owned but now taken over by my children. That company makes me get up. I assume there are still some phones on and go regularly visited by customers. Then I eat usually with them at a restaurant, but I do note that I have no to heavy meals to eat and not too much drink alcohol. As you so often are going to eat, you need the kilos to pay attention to.’

So are you really going to 95 years old, Paul.

“This week I was also back on my exercise bike for my heart and lungs. It was I also like mountain biking. Although not in the woods, but on the road. Forty minutes to my daughter at home, and forty minutes back. Quite tricky because I never used the clipless pedals, for fear of falling. It was pounding, but unfortunately it was the wheel from my mountain bike passed and now is not more of it.”

Did you used to not riding with Eddy Merckx?

‘Da’s been a while ago, though. Previously, it was Merckx’s still too much training. As I Eddy now see, is to have a coffee to drink and football to watch, because we are bosom friends. Besides my family, he is the person I most see. At least once a day we call each other to talk about football, the price, the grandchildren… Nice, hey. To the match of my grandsons I also have every week a look. Two games still with Anderlecht and Youri – the-oldest – football now in second provincial.’

What would be the best present for your birthday?

“Gosh, if I have one somebody might see, then would that Arlette, my wife. (silence) But that of course is not. Of course, I would still agree magnitudes of the football want to meet, such as Pélé. But let us of that 75th anniversary not too many bells and whistles. Having a drink with my children and grandchildren will all be very beautiful.’

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