Jan Ceulemans, Branko Strupar and Vincent Kompany: three players that inspired generations with their decisive passes, incredible rushes, fantastic goals and exceptional vista. To honor these icons of Belgian Football, the Pro League launches its own Hall of Fame in the Autumn of 2022.
Belgian Football has a glorious history and was home to some exceptional talents. That heritage deserves to be honored and remembered. Therefore, the Pro League wants to add these phenomenal players to a unique gallery based on the input of former players, coaches and watchers. In the end, the fan will have the final vote.
“The Hall of Fame helps us recognise the exceptional skills of the players that people idolized since our foundation in 1974”, explains CEO Lorin Parys. “Being added to the Hall of Fame is the highest individual decoration that a league can hand to a player. These players are the ambassadors of Belgian Football and should be honored that way.”
Who can be added?
To be added to the Pro League Hall of Fame there are 3 important criteria. The players should have at least 75 official games in Belgium's top tier division. They need to have played these games after 1974 (foundation Pro League) and they can no longer be active as a player in a football competition.
Once inducted in the Hall of Fame, a player will become a ‘Pro League Legend’. Each player will receive a special decoration, in which the year of induction is engraved. During the Pro League Awards we will announce Aline Zeler as the first inductee of the Pro League Hall of Fame. Based on her sportive results and her efforts for women’s football she deserves her place within the Pro League Hall of Fame.
In the Autumn of 2022 we will announce the next 10 names, chosen by the fans. They can vote on a shortlist that has been selected by a panel of former players, coaches, press and football watchers. The class of ‘22 will exist out of 11 legends of Belgian Football.
As of the next season each season 5 icons of Belgian football will be nominated by the Pro League and the panel of experts. Fan voting will decide the two players that will be added to the Hall of Fame.
First Pro League Legend: Aline Zeler
The first ‘Pro League Legend’ is Aline Zeler. Her importance for Belgian football cannot be neglected. A quick look at her records proves why she deserves to be the first inductee. Aline Zeler became 9 times Belgian champion with 3 different clubs: Sint-Truiden, Standard de Liège and Rsc Anderlecht. With Standard de Liège she has also won the BeNeLeague.
Aline Zeler is without any doubt the symbol of the rise of the Belgian Red Flames and Belgian women’s football over the past years. As the captain of the Red Flames - with whom she collected 111 caps - she led the team to the European Championship of 2017 in the Netherlands, the first big international tournament of the Red Flames. It was the culmination of Aline Zeler’s wonderful career.
She showed exceptional engagement for professionalizing and developing women’s football in Belgium. Today she is still showing that commitment, while she is taking her first steps as a coach. To honor her for her commitment and endless motivation the Pro League decided that it was more than right to recognize Aline Zeler as the first ‘Pro League Legend’ to be inducted into the Pro League Hall of Fame.