Axel Witsel Bio

image taken from : Royal Belgian Football Association
FULL NAMEAxel Laurent Angel Lambert Witsel
BORNJanuary 12, 1989
HEIGHT1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)

Axel Laurent Angel Lambert Witsel, better known as Axel Witsel, is a Belgian footballer who was born in Liège, Belgium, on January 12, 1989.

Witsel is primarily a defensive midfielder who can can play centrally. He can also play in a variety of other positions, including offensive midfield, right midfield, right flank, and right back. He now plays for Tianjin Quanjian of China and the Belgian national team.


Witsel began his football career in the youth divisions and training academy of Standard Liège, his local club. From 2004 to 2006, he was a member of the club’s junior team before being promoted to the senior team.

Witsel was signed to play for the Belgium U-15 squad even before making his club debut, and he made his debut on March 24, 2004. He later played for Belgium at the U-16, U-17, U-18, U-19, and U-21 levels.


He made his senior debut against FC Brussels on September 17, 2006, in the 89th minute, replacing Steven Defour in a 2-1 victory. On September 28, 2006, he made his UEFA Cup debut against Celta de Vigo in only his second game for the club.

Witsel made his international debut on March 26, 2008, in a friendly against Morocco, after earning valuable experience with Belgium’s junior teams. Despite the fact that Belgium lost the match 1-4, Witsel scored his first international goal.

Rise to glory

Witsel’s meteoric ascent began in the Belgian League’s 2007-08 season. He was an important member of Standard Liège’s team, appearing in nearly every league game. Because of his presence on the team, the club won the Belgian League that year, and he was named Belgian Young Footballer of the Year. In the same year, he also won the Belgian Golden Shoe. In his 7-year career with Standard Liège, he played 194 games for the club and scored 45 goals.

Witsel joined to Benfica, a Portuguese club, on July 13, 2011 and spent a season with them. While at the team, he helped to strengthen centre midfield and supplied goals and assists when needed. In 52 games that season, he scored 5 goals and added 6 crucial assists.

Witsel scored his second international goal three years after his debut, this time in a competitive UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifiers encounter against Austria. Belgium defeated Austria by a score of 2-0 thanks to his goal.

He was named to the 2014 FIFA World Cup squad on May 13, 2014. He helped his country overcome Algeria by 2-1 in the tournament’s first game, after being given a shot in the starting eleven.

He was also a member of the Belgian team in the 2016 UEFA Euros. He scored his first goal of the tournament in a Group E encounter against Republic of Ireland, leading his team to victory.

Club career

Witsel has also played for Zenit Saint Petersburg of Russia, in addition to Standard Liège and Benfica. He won the Russian Football Premier League in 2014-15, the Russian Cup in 2015-16, and the Russian Super Cup in 2015 and 2016 with the team. He appeared in 180 games for the club, scoring 22 goals in the process.

He officially joined his current squad, Tianjin Quanjian, on 3 January 2017 and made his debut against Guangzhou R&F on 4 March 2017.


Witsel has appeared in 37 games for his new club, scoring five goals and assisting on three others. Witsel has played 87 times for Belgium in international football. He has 9 goals to his name as a member of his national squad.

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