Belgian League: Is the Jupiler Pro League low level? Reasons why there are so many Japanese people

Europe League

The Belgian league can be said to be a league that has attracted a lot of attention from Japanese people, especially in recent years. More and more Japanese players are playing in the Belgian league, and Japanese soccer fans in particular are watching this league. Why is the number of Japanese people increasing rapidly in the first place?

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jupiler pro league

The Jupiler Pro League will be the top football league in Belgium and will be a professional league. It was founded in 1895 and has a long history. However, there is a clear level difference compared to Europe’s top leagues such as the Premier, La Liga, and Serie A, and it is currently difficult for Belgian clubs to win the title in the European Cup competition. Although it is an overseas league, Japanese players are active throughout the season.

Holding method

During the regular season, 16 clubs will play two rounds of home and away games. The number of matches will be 30, and clubs ranked 1st to 6th will advance to Playoff 1, and clubs ranked 7th to 15th will advance to Playoff 2. 16th place will be demoted. In Playoff 1, each club will play a home and away round robin, and in Playoff 2, they will be divided into two groups.

Foreigners quota and non-EU player quota

Regulations are quite lax for foreigners and non-EU players. The regulations of the Belgian league are that if there are six or more players trained in Belgium in the team, it is OK, so it can be said that it is a league with very few restrictions.

Playoff 1 winning club

The winning club in Playoff 1 will be given the right to play in the third round of the UEFA Champions League. The runner-up clubs will be the top domestic league teams in the UEFA Champions League, the third qualifying round. Additionally, the third-placed club will qualify for the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League.

Playoff 2 winner and 4th place club in Playoff 1

The winner of Playoff 2 and the 4th place club from Playoff 1 will play each other home and away, with the winning club entitled to play in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League.

belgium cup

In Belgium, apart from the league matches, there is also a Belgian Cup. The tournament will be a nine-round knockout format from the first round to the final, with first-division clubs participating from round 32. The final match will be held at the King’s Stadium in Brussels, the capital. The winning team will qualify for the UEFA Europa League and the Belgian Super Cup.

belgian super cup

The Belgian Super Cup is a one-game match between the Jupiler Pro League champion club and the Belgian Cup champion club. This match is basically a match that has a strong meaning as a prelude match held before the league match.

Is the Jupiler Pro League low level?

Is the Jupiler Pro League low level? However, it is true that it is lower than the major leagues, Premier and La Liga. In UEFA’s country rankings, Belgium basically hovers around 7th to 9th place, so it is reasonable to think that it is lower than the five major leagues, as well as the Portuguese league and the Dutch league. You could say it’s one of Europe’s mid-tier leagues. Perhaps for this reason, the Belgian team’s performance in the Champions League is significantly inferior to that of Europe’s five major leagues and Portugal. Most Belgian teams are eliminated in the qualifying rounds and group stage.

Reasons why there are so many Japanese people

In recent years, many Japanese players have entered the Belgian league. This has also become noticeable since the late 2010s, but why is the number of Japanese players increasing rapidly?

Owned by a Japanese company

Belgian league soccer teams have recently had Japanese owners. A particularly typical example is Sint-Truiden. Sint-Truiden was acquired by DMM in 2017, and with this opportunity the number of Japanese people increased rapidly. In particular, the acquisition of promising players from the J League became noticeable. A route was also created for players to step up from Belgium to the five major leagues.

Aim to step up

When Japanese players suddenly try to play in Europe from the J League, there may be cases where they are unable to compete in the five major leagues. Therefore, a route was established in which most Japanese players first went through the Belgian league and then challenged to the major leagues. One of its characteristics is that there are a particularly large number of young Japanese players. There are no Ballon d’Or winners from this league.

Restrictions on foreigners are lenient

In the case of the Belgian league, regulations on foreign players are very lax. As mentioned above, there are very few restrictions and the environment for success is in place, so it is very easy for Japanese players to take on the challenge.

Ratings for Japanese players are rising

Another reason for the success of the transfer to the Belgian league is that the overall evaluation of Japanese players in Europe is rising. As you can see from the Japanese national team’s World Cup performance, it has become commonplace for teams to advance to the last 16 rather than being eliminated in the group stage. The hurdles are low because we have built up a track record mainly in neighboring Germany.

Sint-Truiden VV

Why are there so many Japanese players in the Belgian league? Regarding this, I must also mention a club called Sint-Truiden VV. Sint-Truiden VV, whose club colors are yellow and blue, is a historic team that was founded in 1924. Up until now, they were a relatively low-profile team in the Belgian league, but in 2017, Japan’s DMM became the management company, and this led to the acquisition of many Japanese players.

Club for stepping up

Most Japanese players are often positioned to aim for a step up from this club. In fact, many players from this club have gone on to play in countries such as the Netherlands and Germany. From the Japanese player’s perspective, it can be said that the route to transfer to Europe has been established, but from the local fans’ perspective, this may be a mixed bag.

Escape from the elevator club

Sint-Truiden VV was originally an elevator club. He has also experienced being demoted to a lower league, and there is an aspect of him that has not been able to fully establish himself in the top league. However, after they started recruiting many Japanese players, their results stabilized and they became a regular team in the First Division. Since most of the Japanese players are selected from the J League, this also helps strengthen the team.

Watch the Belgian league live

You can watch the Belgian league live on many TV channels. Enjoy the games of the world’s highest league.

ChannelPlanSoccer ContentsURL
DAZN\3750national team
major europe leagues
J league
DAZN
Hulu¥1026french league
dutch league
Hulu
WOWOW\2530UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa League
WOWOW
ABEMA TV¥960national team
World Cup
Premier League
scottish league
ABEMA
スカパー¥429 + ¥2480national team
emperor’s cup soccer
Bundesliga
laliga
スカパー!
J SPORTS\1100fifa world youthJ SPORTS

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