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GROUND // Stade Joseph Marien - Union Saint-Gilloise

The date was set on January 10th, 2016. The location: Stade Joseph Marien. Bossemans was waiting anxiously to see Coppenolle again...

Although they are rivals since 1897 (Coppenolle was already two years old before Bossemans started to tease Coppenolle), they feel true love for each other as well. The past 30 years they had to live without each other. Coppenolle had some rough 3 decades... First he went from number one in the 70s to just a player in the 80s and 90s. In the 00s Coppenolle had to admit he had no money anymore. He found some grass to hold on to but eventually he had to let go. For 12 years he wandered the leagues, looking for a way back. In 2015 he finally found a way through the means of Wetteren. Bossemans couldn't have been happier. They arranged a meeting.

Stade Joseph Marien, location of that (in)famous first meeting in 30 years, is legendary. It was opened in 1919 and saw tons of meetings between Bossemans and Coppenolle. It also saw some nice games in the 1920 Olympics. Residing next to Parc Duden it forms a magical mixture between fantasy/fairytales and creepy horror/decay. This used to be a place for 44,000 people, nowadays the location is packed when there are 8,000 people. And almost 8,000 people witnessed this historical get together.The beautiful building was built in 1926. Bossemans was honoured with a majestic grandstand, almost nowhere else to be seen. A few years afterwards Bossemans started his famous Union60. From 1933 up until 1935 Bossemans didn't lose any game for 60 games straight, but Coppenolle didn't agree to that. In 1935 he was the one to stop this, of all people.

Between 1897 and the 50s Bossemans and Coppenolle were masters in Belgium. Only occasionally another team got some leftovers. Later on the two fought with each other on lower levels, only sometimes climaxing at the top again. As of the 80s the dark ages came. Bossemans often played in 2nd, 3rd and 4th division. Coppenolle had it even worse and was homeless for a decade. But new ages are dawning. The meeting on January 10th was only the beginning. The once so illuster meetings (In 1938 there was even a play based on these two and centuries before that Shakespeare even made an adaptation called Romeo and Juliet) will rise to the top again. We are at the dawn of a new era. For weeks Bossemans and Coppenolle were singing and teasing each other again, like the good old days. Before the game it was all about "Le chant des goals" and "C'est l'Union qui sourit", but after the game all we heard was "Le RWD de Molenbeek". Curious who will leave Stade Oscar Bossaert (better known as Stade Edmond Machtens) as a winner next July. Revenge or continuation?


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