Axel Laurent Angel Lambert Witsel plays for Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund and the Belgian national team. Witsel entered Belgium’s first team as a right-winger, and he can also play attacking midfielder, although his natural position is as a central midfielder. Standard Liège was the club where he began his career, where he made 183 appearances and scored 42 goals while winning five national trophies. In 2008, he was awarded the Belgian Golden Shoe. In 2012, after a season with Benfica in Portugal, he signed for Zenit Saint Petersburg for a fee of €40 million.
Witsel won four awards during his time in Russia, before moving to Tianjin Quanjian in January 2017. In August 2018, he returned to Europe with Borussia Dortmund. He earned his 100th cap for Belgium on 15 November 2018 after making his senior international debut in 2008. While representing the country at the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and 2018, and the UEFA European Championship in 2016 and 2020, he helped them to third place in the 2018 tournament.
Axel Witsel Bio/Wiki[table id=3192 /]
The Full Story of Football Genius known as ‘Cha Loupe’ is presented by Woodgram. We have provided a comprehensive account of events from Axel Witsel’s childhood to the present day in our His life story before fame, relationship life, family background, and many OFF-Pitch facts (little known) about him are analyzed that is little known.
Everyone knows how good he is at controlling the ball and holding midfield. Only a few fans know much about Axel Witsel’s Bio, which is quite interesting. Without further ado, let’s get started. Thierry Witsel and Sylvie Wilsel gave birth to their first child, Axel Laurent Angel Lambert Witsel, on the 12th of January 1989 in Liege, Belgium.
Axel came from a mixed-race family with a loving background. Growing up, his parents were jovial and loving to their children. As seen in the picture below, his mother is Belgian, while his father is from the French Caribbean island of Martinique. Both parents had their children at a young age.
Axel Witsel grew up with his only sister, who goes by the name Whitney Witsel. Despite having a Belgian white mother, both kids inherited their father’s genes, making them part of the Belgian Black Ethnicity.
Growing up, Withney and Axel felt loved more because of the open lines of communication that both siblings had inherited from their parents. Axel grew up with football at his feet as a young boy, discovering he loved only football as a hobby and a gift.
While his parents allowed him to play on open fields, they did not consider him a serious footballer.
Due to the limited opportunities Belgian football provided at that time, this was the case. In Axel’s words;
‘There Were No Toys Or Games When I Was Younger, Just A Football. I’m Entirely Grateful For Everything My Dad Did. He Always Pushed Me. Without Him, I Wouldn’t Have This Incredible Journey That I’m On So Far.’
When Axel was 15 years old, he decided to stop playing on local pitches with friends. Through a funding opportunity he received from the Royal Belgian Football Association, he was able to go professional with Standard Liege.
The following is a description of the events leading up to his involvement with Standard Liege. Towards the end of the 20th century, Belgium saw a new wave of football enthusiasm that would lead to a revolution in the sport. The tiny country, with only 11 million people, had a watershed moment in 1998 when its national football team was disgracefully eliminated from the 1998 world cup group stage.
This document led to over 30 Belgian federation coaches meeting to discuss the radical change in the approach to football in the country, as Browaeys was the coach of all Belgium youth teams. The Sablon blueprint document challenged the lack of a unified vision for youth football in Belgium at that point.
They found that there was far too much emphasis on winning and not enough on development. The result was the youth football revolution in Belgium. Clubs got a boost financially, which directly impacted their scouting network within the country.
As a result, Axel was picked up by scouts to play for Standard Liege, his hometown club. Unlike most footballers who start their youth careers at a relatively young age (between 6 and 8), Axel joined a youth club at an older age (15).
It was a meteoric rise to his growth, and his dreams of joining the club’s senior team weren’t just a passing fancy.
There’s a great woman behind every great man, or so the saying goes. Almost every successful Belgian footballer has a glamorous wife, girlfriend, or wag behind them. Axel Witsel’s style of play as well as his lifestyle off the field paints a complete picture of who he is.
Rafaella Szabo, born in Romania with Hungarian roots, has been in a relationship with Axel. When she was two years old, she moved to Belgium. Rafaella and Axel dated for 6 years before getting married in 2015.
They have two beautiful daughters who are recent members of the Axel Witsel family. The eldest daughter of Axel is named Mai-Li Witsel. Axel Witsel’s decision to turn down a move to Juventus in favor of a lucrative offer from the Chinese Super League upset football fans around the world in 2017. In an interview, Wittel claimed that he had made the best choice for his family.
To build a rich family background that would ensure decades of financial stability and happiness, Axel Witsel accepted China’s money worth €18 million per year.
Juventus offered him €4.5 million per year as opposed to €3 million at Zenit, but he has not moved. Having accepted, he would have joined a historically powerful European team playing in the knockout rounds of the Champions League.
He instead chose to sign for Tianjin Quanjian, founded in 2006, following the footsteps of Carlos Tevez, for a salary four times greater than what Juventus offered.
As soon as Witsel’s transfer to Tianjin was announced, social media erupted with fans calling him a mercenary, a money grabber, and every other insult under the sun reserved for athletes who choose to prioritize their own financial well-being over anything else.
Zenit supporters wanted non-white and gay players to be excluded from the team.
According to Landskrona, the Russian champions’ largest fans’ group, black players, including Axel Witsel, were being “forced down Zenit’s throat”.
According to them, gay players are unworthy of a great city like Chicago.
The fans’ manifesto defended their racism as follows:
The Russian league has traditionally targeted black players with monkey chants and banana throws. Anzhi Makhachkala’s Christopher Samba had bananas thrown at him by fans.”.
The Russian Football Union fined Zenit St Petersburg after one of their fans offered Anzhi’s Roberto Carlos a banana before the match between the two clubs in March 2011.
Axel Witsel Net Worth
How much does he earn in 2023?
The midfielder signed a contract with Borussia Dortmund in August 2018, which brings in a salary of 8 million euros (6.8 million pounds) per year. According to our calculations, he earns €21,917.81 (£18,630.13) per day and €913.24 (£776.26) per hour![table id=3193 /]
Players like him know their merit, and their contracts reflect their worth to their teams. He is estimated to have a net worth of 36 Million Euros, and his current market value is $4.40 Million Euros.
- 17 years old Witsel made his debut at Standard Liège on 17 September 2006 during a competitive game against FC Brussels, replacing Steven Defour in the 89th minute of the match. Eleven days later, he made his European debut as a sub in the Europa League.
- He was a key member of the squad of Standard Liège during the 2007-08 season, when he was 18 years old, when it won the Belgian League title that year.
- This year, he formed a very young midfield along with other Belgian talents, including Defour and Marouane Fellaini.
- His championship triumph came the following season when he scored the winning goal from the penalty spot in the second leg of a two-legged playoff.
- During the match between Anderlecht and Standard on 30 August 2009, Witsel sparked controversy when he stamped on the ankle of Marcin Wasilewski, breaking his leg.
- When Witsel received a red card following the tackle, he protested his dismissal, claiming that it was an accident without intent on his part, before being sent off.
- He apologized soon afterward but was the subject of criticism from several media outlets as well as numerous death threats from angry Anderlecht and Poland supporters. The Belgian Football Association initially imposed a ban until 23 November, but this later got reduced on appeal to eight matches.
- It was announced on 13 July 2011 that Witsel signed a five-year deal with Portuguese club Benfica which included a €40 million buyout clause.
- As a result of Wiesel’s two goals in Benfica’s 3–1 win over FC Twente in the Champions League play-off second leg, on 24 August 2011, Benfica qualified for the group stages with a 5–3 aggregate victory.
- He scored the opening goal in a 4-1 thrashing of Vitória de Guimar*es in the Taça da Liga of Portugal on 9 January.
- It was then that he assisted Nolito in a 4-1 league victory against Vitória de Setubal.
- Witsel scored his fourth goal against Santa Clara on 18 January as a part of a Taça da Liga match. During the final matchup on 14 April, Benfica faced Gil Vicente and Witsel was awarded the Man of the Match award as Benfica won their fourth Taça da Liga title following a 2–1 victory.
Zenit Saint Petersburg
- Witsel signed a five-year contract with Zenit Saint Petersburg on 3 September 2012 for €40 million.
- As Zenit lost 2–0 to Terek Grozny on 14 September, Wittsel made his Premier League debut, replacing Konstantin Zyryanov in the 70th minute.
- Zenit defeated Spartak Moscow 4–2 at the Luzhniki Stadium on 30 November, as he scored his first two goals for the club.
- In Zenit’s 3–0 league victory against Terek Grozny on 30 March 2013, Wittsel scored Zenit’s winner in the eighth minute.
- Zenit’s second goal in a 2–0 away victory over former club Benfica was scored by Witsel in their first match of the 2014–15 UEFA Champions League group stage on 16 September 2014.
- After finishing third in their Champions League group, Zenit qualified for the knockout phase of the Europa League. On 12 March 2015, Witsel scored on a rebound as Zenit defeated Torino 2–0.
- Witsel scored the game’s only goal in the seventeenth minute as Zenit defeated Arsenal Tula in a league match at the Petrovsky Stadium on 26 April.
- Witsel played the full 90 minutes for Zenit as they drew 1-1 with FC Ufa, securing the league title, the club’s fourth overall, and Witsel’s first with Zenit.
- After FC Lokomotiv Moscow won the match 1–1, Witsel converted his penalty shot in a 4–2 penalty shootout victory in the 2015 Russian Super Cup on 12 July 2015.
- Zenit officially announced on 3 January 2017 that Witsel had moved to Tianjin Quanjian.
- A week after making his debut for Quanjian, Witsel scored the club’s first-ever goal in the Chinese Super League during a 1–1 draw with Shanghai Greenland Shenhua.
- On 6 August 2018, Witsel signed for Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund and agreed on a four-year contract that lasts until 30 June 2022.
- At the end of stoppage time on 21 August, he equalized with a goal to make it 1–1 after coming on as a substitute on his debut for the club against SpVgg Greuther Fürth in the DFB-Pokal first-round match, and his team went on to win the match in extra time with a 2-1 win.
- In a 4–1 victory over RB Leipzig on 26 August, Wittsel scored his first Bundesliga goal with an overhead kick.
- Prior to his international debut with the senior side, he played for the under-21 side in 2007, earning nine caps and helping his team reach the semi-finals of the 2007 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship.
- During a friendly match against Morocco on 26 March 2008, Witsel made his international debut. Despite Belgium’s 1–4 loss, Witsel scored his first goal for the national team.
- Witsel’s first competitive international goal came a day short of three years after the Morocco goal, against Austria in Group A of the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying process, and his second came at the start of the second half.
- Nevertheless, Belgium’s hopes of qualifying for UEFA Euro 2012 were dashed by a defeat to Germany coupled with Turkey’s victory over Azerbaijan on 11 October 2011.
- Witsel was named to Belgium’s squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup on 13 May 2014. In the team’s first game of the tournament, a 2–1 win against Algeria in Belo Horizonte, he played in midfield.
- Witsel was also named to the Belgian squad at the 2016 UEFA Euros, announced on 31 May 2016. He scored his first tournament goal against the Republic of Ireland during the Championships.
- Two of his goals came during the qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, both in wide victories over Gibraltar. Roberto Martinez named him to the team for the final tournament in Russia.
Facts About Axel Witsel
- Witsel is primarily a defensive midfielder, but he also plays as a central midfielder.
- Although he can also play in a variety of other positions, such as attacking midfield, right midfield, right wing, right back, etc.
- Currently, he plays for the Chinese club Tianjin Quanjian and the Belgian national team.
- When Witsel began his professional football career, he joined the youth ranks of Standard Liège and trained in their academy. After playing for the club’s youth team from 2004 to 2006, he was promoted to the senior team.
- Before making his club debut, Witsel was selected to play for the Belgium U-15 team, and he made his debut on 24 March 2004. Later, he represented Belgium at the U-16, U-17, U-18, U-19, and U-21 levels.
- On 17 September 2006, he made his senior debut in a 2-1 victory over FC Brussels, replacing Steven Defour in the 89th minute.
- He made his UEFA Cup debut in his very second game for the club against Celta de Vigo on 28 September 2006.
- On 26 March 2008, Witsel made his international debut against Morocco, after gaining a lot of experience with Belgium’s youth teams. Witsel scored his first international goal in the match even though Belgium lost by 1-4.
- Witsel’s rise came during the 2007-08 season of the Belgian League. As a member of the Standard Liège squad, he played in almost every league match. As a result of his presence on the team, the club won the Belgian League title that year, and he was named Belgian Young Footballer of the Year.
- He also won the Belgian Golden Shoe that year. In 194 games, he scored 45 goals for Standard Liège in his 7 years with the club.
- During the 2011-12 season, Witsel played for the Portuguese club Benfica. When he played for the club, he made the central midfield strong as well as contributed goals and assists when needed. In that season, he played 52 games and scored 5 goals and contributed 6 assists.
- Witsel scored his second international goal three years after his debut goal, and this time it was in a competitive match of the UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifiers against Austria. He scored a goal that helped Belgium defeat Austria 2-0.
- On 13 May 2014, he was included in the team to play the 2014 FIFA World Cup. In the very first game of the tournament, getting a chance in starting eleven, he helped his team to defeat Algeria by 2-1.
- He was also a member of the Belgian team at UEFA Euro 2016. In a Group E match against the Republic of Ireland, he led his team to victory scoring his first goal in the tournament.
- As well as Standard Liège and Benfica, Witsel has also played for Zenit Saint Petersburg in Russia. He won the Russian Football Premier League in 2014-15, the Russian Cup in 2015-16, and the Russian Super Cup in 2015 and 2016. During his time with the club, he played 180 games and scored 22 goals.
- He officially joined his current team Tianjin Quanjian on 3 January 2017 and played his first match against Guangzhou R&F on 4 March 2017.
- Witsel has played 37 games for his new club, scoring five goals and providing three assists.
- Witsel has played 87 games for Belgium in international football. As a member of his national team, he has scored nine goals.
Rafaella Szabo Witsel
Belgium national football team