In a long format published this Friday morning, Marca paints a portrait of the surprising leader of the Pro League.
Located in the town of Saint-Gilles, also called “Little Spain” (Little Spain), the club is followed by many Spanish immigrants who came to Belgium between the 1950s and 1960s.
It is therefore in this district in the south of Brussels that the “last miracle of continental football“. After joining the elite 48 years after leaving, L’Union leads the Pro League with one of the most modest cores in the competition. According to the Spanish daily, the USG is playing a happy game, allowing it to be the team with the most goals scored and the fewest goals conceded. The stars of the team? “Deniz Undav and the young Belgian talent Dante Vanzeir, recently called up with the Red Devils “.
If Felice Mazzù’s men’s season is magical, it’s not what happens on the pitch that amazes our Spanish colleagues the most. The stands, inhabited by supporters of different nationalities, leave the Spanish daily speechless.
Marca took the opportunity to interview a supporter … like no other! Juan Benjumea Moreno is Spanish and represents the Groen party in the Brussels Parliament. He is a fervent supporter of the Unionists. “When I arrived in Brussels, I was told that I had to support the Union. At Joseph Marien, there are no insults or songs against the rival. The opponent is a guest who takes part in the football party “. The politician remembers. “One day, the Union received the Standard and many Anderlecht supporters came to insult the Liège club. The ultras Unionists then got angry by inviting them not to come back to the stadium because here, we do not provoke the opponent”.
Thanks to this mentality, the number 10 is often well received when traveling. “The other clubs love this attitude. The supporters welcome us with welcome signs.“, says Maarten Verdoodt, communication director of the club, to our colleagues in Marca.
“It’s more of a family than a business”
Moreno definitely fell in love with his new club. “In the main stand, where the loudest supporters are, I thought there would be fights but that is not the case at all. I went there with my son. There are also many families with children. It looks more like a family than a business“.
What remains of Spanish immigration today?
More than seventy years after the mass immigration of the Spaniards to the Kingdom, the influence is still present according to Maarten Verdoodt. “They have an influence in the club. There are a lot of Spanish and Italian supporters at the Union. European expatriates who arrive in Brussels become supporters of the Union. We also have a fanclub in the European district “.
Moreno, member of the fanclub, adds. “There was no recognized group of supporters, there was a group set up by Italians, the Union Bhoys. Now there are more and more supporters, whether in Brussels or elsewhere. In my group of supporters, there are Spaniards, Germans, Cypriots, Greeks and Turks “.
To conclude her article, Marca takes up a well-known song at Parc Duden … ““Brussels, My city, I love you, I wear your emblem, Your colors in my heart, And when the weekend comes, At Duden park, I sing for my club, Come on the Union”.
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The Union Saint-gilloise seen by the famous Spanish newspaper Marca: “The last miracle of continental football”