Raul Daufresne de la Chevelleri, the man who led the Red Devils to the Olympic Games in Antwerp in 1920

Raul Dufresne of La Chevalier. Does this name mean nothing to you? it’s common. This gentleman, who became a baron, was born in Brugge on March 17, 1881 (exactly 140 years ago). He died at Uccle on 25 November 1967 (aged 86), and is still, the only coach to lead the Belgian national football team to a major international trophy at the Summer Olympics in 1920 in Antwerp. This Olympic medal is the only major title date on the Belgian football selection table.

So this victory is a little over 100 years old, the final was held on 2 September 1920. Result of race? 2–0 win against Czechoslovakia team. The match did not go down in history for the football played by the 2 teams (even though Belgium was good in the first half, like their tournament), but for its controversy around the middleman. In fact, the Czechoslovakians left the field in the first half following the expulsion of their first one when they were already losing by 2 goals. Following this imbroligio, the Red Devils will be declared the winners of the Olympic Games finals in Antwerp and receive the most beautiful medals for this success.

During this same edition of the Summer Games, Raul Dufresne of La Chevalier (By his full name Raul Constantine Joseph Ghislain Deaufresne de la Chevalier) Also won a bronze medal as a player with the Belgian field hockey team.

We are talking about a man who has worn many caps throughout his career. Sporty but not only. Let’s return to this trainer, the player but military (especially during World War I) in a little more detail, which led Belgium to the roof of the world in early September 1920.

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Sportsman, Coach, President, Soldier: a person who has many hats

The baron Dufresne of La Chevalier Was a Belgian player in the early 20th century. Thanks to all his various activities, he will remain the addition of a player / coach / club president in the history of Belgian football. He truly began his playing career as a striker in 1903 with Cercle de Bruges (then Cercle Sportif Brugeois). He lived for 4 years until 1907. During this period, he also headed the club until his departure (between 1905 and 1907). It was at this point that he chose to join the Bruges Club, the neighboring and rival club of Club Bruges (formerly known as Football Club Bruges). He will remain for the same number of years during his time in the Circle. Probably not to offend supporters of one or the other Brugge team.

During these years of activity, he would score 13 small targets in 98 appearances under the colors of 2 clubs in Bruges. So it is not for their number of goals, relatively small for an attacker, that we will remember their name, but actually for their ability to multiply and run on the field.

About his military career, Raul Dufresne of La Chevalier When the Great War broke out, he was an officer of infantry. At the end of World War I, he ended up with the rank of captain. As a result, he left the army to continue his sporting activities. And what activities! He resumed his role as a player on the Belgian national field hockey team and, above all, captained the Belgian national football team, culminating in the famous 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp.

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Before returning to it, it is important to specify that his military career did not end there. He became Major General as part of the reserve. Then, being promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general, he resumed service in 1941/42 as Commander-in-Chief of the Free Belgian Land Forces in the United Kingdom and managed to escape during World War II after becoming a prisoner. are. To end the loop, he ended his prosperous career in the Belgian army as a military briefcase in Czechoslovakia, a country that was certainly meant to remind him of (very) good memories. You can say that Baron Dufresne de la Chevalieri had a certain sense of duty, which is why he was an important and respected coach and soldier in football and the Belgian army.

But let’s return to his role as coach of the Belgian national football team. The team was Belgium’s first “golden generation” in the world of professional football. A solid formation whose strength, like many major elements, rests on a well-oiled mass. He was taken by Armand Swetbroke, The first Red Devil crossed the 50 Cap, and Oscar Verbeek in defence. Behind them, the goalkeeper symbolizing the Racing Club de Bruxli, Jean de B.E., There was already a reference to his post. Finally, in front of the defense, it was the center of the then Union Saint-Gilles, Emile Hanse (Captain for the last 2 matches) who guided the team’s game and hence led it Louis van hege, The prolific goalscorer for AC Milan during this period, and Robert coppy In charge of completing the verbs.

Tournament Summary, Final and its Imbralio

After World War I, the game gradually acquired its rights. With Belgium being the host country of these Olympic Games, the Red Devils did not have to play the first qualifying round for the final leg and they qualified for the quarter-finals directly against Spain (this was the first official meeting between the 2 teams). Score at the end of the game? 3–1 with a hat-trick from the Belgian striker Robert coppy.

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For their second match in the competition, Belgium this time found a more famous rival, the Netherlands, for an even more river score at the end of the meet. 3-0 for the Red Devils with 3 different scorers (Henry lerno, 46e; Louis van hege, 55 E; Matthew Bragaard, 86th). After these 2 matches, generally well mastered, it is time for the final against Czechoslovakia.

Robert coppyA very prolific striker during the tournament (4 goals in 4 games, including 1 in the final) but Division 1 (91 goals in 116 games) opened the scoring from the penalty spot after just six minutes of play. Henry lerno Scored the second goal for Belgium at the half-hour mark. Minutes before half time (to be precise in the 39th minute), Czechoslovak player Karel Steiner He was always sent to kill Robert Coppi, and his entire team left the field to challenge the decision and request the cancellation of the result. After this event, Czechoslovakia eventually became disqualified and became the Belgian Olympic champion.

It is important to remember and note that Czechoslovakians were not already satisfied when choosing the Briton John lewis To referee the match as he was physically attacked by Czech fans during a match in Prague and not being objective during the meeting against Belgium, putting him at risk.


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5 Olympic Rings in front of the IOC Building in Lausanne © Jean-Baptiste Premat / Hans Lucas
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About the Author: Piers Parker

Alcohol maven. Incurable pop culture specialist. Communicator. Gamer. Certified explorer.

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