Georges Leekens (born 18 May 1949) is a Belgian football manager and former player. During his managerial career, he was in charge of four national teams: the Belgian, Tunisian, Algerian and Hungarian national football teams. He also managed numerous clubs in Belgium, the Netherlands, Turkey, Tunisia, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
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Leekens in 2019
|Date of birth||18 May 1949|
|Place of birth||Meeuwen, Belgium|
|2018||Étoile du Sahel|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Leekens made his debut as a footballer in 1967 with Sporting Houthalen after leaving the lower ranks of the club. In 1969, he signed for one year with KFC Dessel Sport. After a brief stint at Crossing Club, he was transferred to Club Brugge. With the team, he reached the final of the UEFA Champions League in 1978 against Liverpool in Wembley Stadium in London where they were defeated with a single goal. He also won five Belgian leagues, a Belgian Cup and a Belgian Super Cup in 1980, one year before joining the Sint-Niklase in which he retired from football in 1984.
The same year of his retirement, Cercle Brugge signed him as coach for the next three seasons, eventually winning the Belgian Cup a year later. The same title won with RSC Anderlecht three years after winning it with the Cercle Brugge. After training KV Kortrijk, he came to Club Brugge to win the Belgian League, the Belgian Super Cup in 1990, the Belgian Cup and again the Belgian Super Cup in 1991. He also trained the KV Mechelen, Trabzonspor. Back to the Cercle Brugge and Royal Charleroi before signing for the RE Mouscron, who was promoted to the Belgian First Division after finishing first in the Belgian Second Division.
First spell in Belgium
In his first spell as coach of the Belgium national team he led it to the 1998 FIFA World Cup finals after a two-legged win against the Republic of Ireland in the qualifying play-off. He was sacked from his role as federal coach after a disappointing third place in the World Cup group stage failed to qualify Belgium for the second round after drawing with Netherlands, Mexico and South Korea.
After making a brief pass as coach of KSC Lokern and Roda JC, he was announced as coach of Algeria at the end of 2002, which he qualified for the 2004 African Cup of Nations in Tunisia, but reached an agreement with the Federation to rescind the contract for family reasons.
Back to Belgium and a short experience in the Persian Gulf
After his African stage, he returned to the Royal Excelsior Mouscron, then he signed for KAA Gent for three years and again he would take the bench of KSC Lokeren. In 2009, it was announced that he would be the new coach of Al-Hilal FC but he was sacked after three months after being defeated against Al-Shabab 3–0 so he coached KV Kortrijk again for one season.
Second spell in Belgium
On 12 April 2011, it was announced that Leekens's contract had been extended to 2014 after some promising results in the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.
On 13 May 2012, it was announced that Leekens would coach Club Brugge for a second time, but he was fired a few months later after a series of successive defeats.
On 27 March 2014, Leekens signed a two-year contract with the Tunisian Football Federation to coach the Carthage Eagles. For his first tournament with Tunisia, Georges Leekens managed to take the team to the quarterfinals, his team being eliminated 2–1 by Equatorial Guinea, the host country of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations. On 27 June 2015, the Tunisian federation announced having terminated its contract amicably.
Return to Algeria
In 2016, he coached the Algerian national football team, and he made the team to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon. On 24 January 2017, he resigned being a coach after being eliminated in Group B stage.
In February 2017 he was one of a number of managers on the shortlist for the vacant Rwanda national team manager role.
In October 2017 it was announced, that Leekens would coach the Hungary national team. After three losses and one draw in four matches, he was fired in June 2018.
Experience in African and Asian clubs
He was appointed by Tunisian club Étoile du Sahel as coach on 10 October 2018 after failing in the 2018 CAF Champions League to be his first experience with African clubs after a long period in European clubs and a short experience in Asian clubs with Al Hilal. He managed to qualify the team to the quarter-finals of the Arab Championship with African champions Wydad Casablanca before leaving on 26 November for unconvincing results in the Tunisian League.
After less than two months in January 2019, Leekens contracted with Tractor of Iran, but his coaching period did not last long, as the contract was rescinded in May 2019.
In May 2020, nearly a year after his last coaching experience, Leekens announced his retirement, to devote himself to his own affairs.
Georges Leekens is the cousin of Louis Leekens, who was Belgian National Champion of gymnastics in 1966 and is leading the top sports school for gymnastics in Genk.
- As of 16 May 2019
|KSC Lokeren||2007||30 March 2009||68||22||27||19||32.35|
|Al-Hilal||1 April 2009||3 May 2009||5||4||0||1||80.00|
|KV Kortrijk||28 May 2009||11 May 2010||44||29||12||3||65.91|
|Belgium||11 May 2010||13 May 2012||19||8||7||4||42.11|
|Club Brugge||13 May 2012||4 November 2012||22||10||5||7||45.45|
|Tunisia||27 March 2014||26 June 2015||19||7||8||4||36.84|
|KSC Lokeren||25 October 2015||26 October 2016||38||12||11||15||31.58|
|Algeria||27 October 2016||24 January 2017||6||2||2||2||33.33|
|Hungary||30 October 2017||18 June 2018||4||0||1||3||0.00|
|Étoile du Sahel||10 October 2018||26 November 2018||7||3||4||0||42.86|
|Tractor||13 January 2019||24 May 2019||15||7||5||3||46.67|
- Belgian First Division: 1972–73, 1975–76, 1976–77, 1977–78, 1979–80
- Belgian Cup: 1976–77 ; 1978–79 (finalists)
- Belgian Super Cup: 1980
- UEFA Cup: 1975–76 (runner-up)
- European Champion Clubs' Cup: 1977–78 (runner-up)
- Jules Pappaert Cup: 1972, 1978
- Bruges Matins: 1979, 1981
- Japan Cup Kirin World Soccer: 1981
- Belgian First Division: 1989–90
- Belgian Cup: 1990–91
- Belgian Super Cup: 1990
- Amsterdam Tournament: 1990
- Belgian Cup: 1985
- "DH.be - Georges Leekens: "Le surnom de Diable doit se mériter" (VIDEO)". Dhnet.be. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
- "DH.be - Georges Leekens prolonge jusque 2014 !". Dhnet.be. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
- "Georges Leekens new Club Brugge T1". clubbrugge.be. 13 May 2012.[permanent dead link]
- "Club Brugge sacks Georges Leekens" (in Dutch). sporza.be. 4 November 2012.
- "Afcon 2017: Algeria coach Georges Leekens quits after elimination". BBC Sport. 2017. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
- Oluwashina Okeleji (14 February 2017). "Samson Siasia and Winfried Schafer on Rwanda coach shortlist". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
- "Na minder dan 2 maanden moet Leekens al ophoepelen in Tunesië". sporza.be (in Dutch). 26 November 2018. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
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