Philippe Clement – The Belgian Manager Who Led Genk and Club Brugge to Glory

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Philippe Clement

Philippe Clement is a Belgian football manager and former player who is currently in charge of Scottish Premiership club Rangers. He has a history of achievements, in his homeland winning the Belgian Pro League championship with both Genk and Club Brugge in back-to-back seasons. He also spent a period at Monaco in Ligue 1 where he elevated their standing in the league and made it to the final of the Coupe de France.

Clement is recognized for his adaptability in tactics, his ability to manage players effectively and his genuine love for the game. He started his managerial career at Waasland-Beveren in 2017, after serving as an assistant and interim coach at Club Brugge, where he also played for ten years as a defender and midfielder. He made 38 appearances for the Belgian national team and participated in the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.

Birth, Parents, and Early Years

Philippe Clement was born in Antwerp, Belgium on March 22, 1974. He comes from a family of educators with both his parents Jean and Marie Louise being teachers. Growing up in a middle-class household alongside his two sisters Anne and Sophie, Philippe developed a passion for football from an early age.

At six years old, he joined the youth academy of Beerschot, his local club where he showcased remarkable talent and versatility by playing in various positions on the field. He showed great talent and versatility, playing in various positions on the pitch. He also excelled in his studies and attended the Royal Athenaeum of Antwerp, where he graduated with high marks.

As an ambitious student, he had aspirations of pursuing a career either as a lawyer or a journalist.


Philippe Clement continued his education at the University of Antwerp, where he enrolled in the Faculty of Law. He balanced his studies with his football career, which was taking off at Genk, where he moved in 1995.

Clement earned a bachelor’s degree in law in 1997, followed by a master’s degree in 1999. In addition, he obtained a postgraduate diploma in sports management from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 2000.

He was among the minority of Belgian football players who held an advanced degree and was commended for his intelligence and articulate manner. Clement was proficient in Dutch, French, English, and German, and showed a strong interest in politics and current events.

Playing Career

Philippe Clement enjoyed a successful playing career, winning 10 major honours in Belgium and 38 international caps. He started as a defensive midfielder for Beerschot, where he made his debut in 1992. He then moved to Genk in 1995, where he won the Belgian Cup in 1998 and attracted the interest of English clubs.

Philippe joined Coventry City in 1998 but only stayed for one season in the Premier League. He returned to Belgium in 1999 and joined Club Brugge, where he spent 10 years and became a club legend. He played 333 matches for Brugge, scoring 38 goals and winning four league titles, three cups and two supercups.

Clement also participated in both the Champions League and the UEFA Cup, achieving quarter-final appearances in both 2003 and 2004. He was known for his versatility, playing as either a centre-back or right-back. He was known for his leadership, his intelligence and his long-range shots.

Clement also represented Belgium at the international level, making his debut in 1998. He played in the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000, where he scored his only goal for his country against Turkey. He missed the 2002 World Cup due to a hamstring injury but returned to the national team in 2003. He played his last game for Belgium in 2007, earning 38 caps in total. He was a reliable and consistent performer for the Red Devils, who could play in various positions and systems.

Coaching Career

Philippe Clement began his coaching career as the head of Club Brugge’s U21s in 2011, after retiring as a player. He then became the assistant coach of the first team and twice served as an interim manager. In 2017, he left Brugge to take charge of Waasland-Beveren, where he impressed with his results and style of play. He was soon hired by Genk, where he led them to their fourth Belgian Pro League title in 2019. He returned to Club Brugge later that year and won two more league titles in 2020 and 2021. He also reached the knockout stages of the UEFA Europa League in both seasons.

In January 2022, Clement made his first move abroad, joining Monaco in Ligue 1. He inherited a team that was struggling in the bottom half of the table and managed to turn them around.

Under Philippe’s guidance, the team achieved a fourth-place finish and earned a spot in the UEFA Europa Conference League. They also advanced to the final of the Coupe de France, ultimately losing to Paris Saint-Germain. He improved Monaco’s defensive record and gave opportunities to young talents such as Aurelien Tchouameni and Sofiane Diop.

In October 2023, Clement was appointed as the new manager of Rangers, replacing Steven Gerrard, who left for Liverpool. He signed a four-year contract with the Scottish club, and quickly adapted to his new environment. He won his first trophy with Rangers in December 2023, beating Celtic 2-1 in the Scottish League Cup final. He also kept Rangers in contention for the Scottish Premiership title and advanced to the round of 16 of the UEFA Europa League. He earned praise for his tactical flexibility, his man-management skills and his passion for the game.

Philippe Clement Personal life

Philippe Clement, at the age of 47, married Isabelle Bauwmans in 2021. They have been in a relationship for over a decade and frequently attend matches and other notable occasions together.  Clement has three children from a previous relationship with a woman named Annelies, who also supports his career as a manager. Philippe currently lives in Glasgow, Scotland, where he manages the Scottish Premiership club Rangers.

Bottom Line

Philippe Clement’s remarkable track record of success as a football manager in Belgium, as well as his brief stint at Monaco, has solidified his reputation as a talented and adaptable coach. With his tactical flexibility, man-management skills, and passion for the game, he continues to achieve success at Rangers in Scotland and is well on his way to becoming a respected figure in the football world.

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Amanda Mills

By Amanda Mills

I am a marketing communication and administrative professional with over 5+ years of experience. My experience encompasses strategic marketing, office administration, public speaking, blogging, and creative content.