Allez les Zebres!
Mainstream sport also takes place here. Spirou Charleroi is the local Basketball tram, and they are successful on a European-wide basis. You will see their merchandising outlet in Ville 2.
Less successful, but stil in the Top flight and very very popular is the local football team, Sporting Charleroi, who play at the Stade Mambourg (where England played in Euro 2000, just opposite my old flat). Les Zebres (so called because of their balck and white stripes) are now part-owned by Enzo Scifo, footballing World Cup legend from just down the road in La Louviere, who moved here from Anderlecht in 2000. I watched the last match of that season against Anderlecht, when les Carolos needed a point to stay in the D1 - they got it, in a boring match. I met the goalscorer Dante Brogno in the pub after the match (my neighbour Jerome was a D1 referee), but he was a bit boring. I spoke to his brother Toni for a bit, saying "you must be so proud of Dante, it must be great having such a popluar footballer in the family!" He said, "Oui, bien sur!"
What I didn't realise was that Toni Brogno was not aonly a footballer himself, but played for the national team, and a bigger club, and was currently the top goalscorer in the country!
Keep on running
Traditionally a poor town, Charleroi nonetheless has quite a good sporting credence. One night in town I met a large group of people from England (I couldn't believe it, why would they come here?) who were taking part in the boating tournament just outside town. I never went to watch but it sounds very popular. Then you have the cycling - the legacy of Eddie Merckx has meant that le cyclisme is in the blood for Belgians, and I saw races begin here a couple of times. And if you like to run, then the annual Dix Miles de Charleroi is like a mini-marathon. I should go back and take part.
Sports at Charleroi
When you arrive in Charleroi, you can see the football stadium which is imposing, grandiose.
And yet, the Charleroi’s team, The “Zebra” is not very good. Fortunately they are still in division 1 and the supporter are always present at each match. If you have got a free time, go on and see it. The basketball is very popular too. The “Spirou’steam” is the best team of Belgium and in each match, there is an incredible, lively atmosphere. Everybody cheer them on in “le spirou Dôme”, the new court!! You must to be at a match!!! And it’s cheap! don’t forget the ping-pong’s team who is European champion.
You can do others sports like swimming, tennis , Badminton, …
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