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Belgian 1986 World Cup star Demol dies aged 57

Stephane Demol, a pivotal player in the Belgium side that reached the 1986 World Cup semi-finals, died of a heart attack in Brussels on Thursday aged 57, his first club Anderlecht said. 

After starting at Anderlecht, Demol, a centre back, played for a host of clubs including Bologna, Porto, Toulouse, Standard Liege and Toulon. 

“Steph will be sorely missed by our club and by Belgian soccer as a whole”, said the Anderlecht statement.

Demol — at 20 the youngest member of the Belgium team — scored with a header in extra time as the Belgians eliminated the Soviet Union 4-3 in the last 16 in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. 

“It was his only goal in 38 matches for the national team, but it will remain forever engraved in the history of Belgian soccer”, Anderlecht said. 

Demol and Belgium, though, were unable to deny a Diego Maradona-inspired Argentina in the semi-finals losing 2-0.

He was assistant to national team coach Rene Vandereycken between 2005 and 2008. He had been without a club since 2016, when he left Saudi Arabian side Hajer.

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