Franky Van der Elst
- Category : Football Player
- Type : PE
- Profile : 3/5 - Martyr / Heretic
- Definition : Split - Large
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Four Ways 1
Franky Van Der Elst (born April 30, 1961 in Opwijk, Belgium) is a former football player and now manager. He was named by PelÃ© as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers in March 2004.
Van Der Elst started his professional career at RWDM playing as a defensive midfielder.
In 1982 he earned his first call up for Belgium. In 1984 he moved to Club Brugge and stayed there until he finished his career in 1999.
He won the Golden Shoe twice in his career, which is quite remarkable for a defensive midfielder. He also appeared in four World Cups from 1986 to 1998. Van Der Elst never scored many goals, when he scored his first and only goal for Belgium against Norway he could hardly believe it.
After his career as a player he was appointed as manager at Germinal Beerschot Antwerpen.
After 4 relatively successful years he was replaced by Marc Brys. He joined Lokeren but only stayed one season.
In 2005 he finally return to 'his' Club Brugge as an assistant. He joined his former teammates and good friends Jan Ceulemans, Marc Degryse, Dany Verlinden and RenÃ© Verheyen. Van Der Elst stayed at Brugge when Verheyen and Ceulemans were fired in 2006.
He eventually was fired in 2007 together with coach Emilio Ferrera.
He is viewed by many as one of Belgium's greatest football players ever and is a club legend with Club Brugge.