Henri Coppens

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Rik Coppens
Rik Coppens.jpg
Personal information
Full name Henri François Louis Coppens
Date of birth (1930-04-29)29 April 1930
Place of birth Antwerp, Belgium
Date of death 5 February 2015(2015-02-05) (aged 84)
Place of death Wilrijk, Belgium
Playing position Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1946–1961 K. Beerschot V.A.C. 389 (261)
1961–1962 Olympique Charleroi 27 (3)
1962–1967 Royal Crossing Club Molenbeek 121 (32)
1967–1969 Berchem Sport 45 (8)
1969–1970 Tubantia Borgerhout VK
Total 555 (301)
National team
1949–1959 Belgium 47 (21)
Teams managed
1971–1974 Berchem Sport
1974–1978 K. Beerschot V.A.C.
1978–1981 Berchem Sport
1981–1982 Club Brugge
1982–1984 K. Beerschot V.A.C.
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Henri 'Rik' François Louis Coppens (29 April 1930 – 5 February 2015) was a Belgian footballer. He played as a striker. He played 389 games and scored 261 goals for Beerschot AC. Coppens won the first Belgian Golden Shoe in 1954.

For many he's unknown but for others he's the famous creator of the 'Johan Cruyff' penalty.[1][2]

Creation of the 'Johan Cruyff' penalty[change | change source]

5 June, 1957, Belgium was facing Iceland in a World Cup Qualification match. The match started perfectly for Les Diables Rouges who soon were leading the game by a ludicrous 6-1 against a weak and pretty much unknown adversary who still had to face over forty-five minutes of pain.

44' minute of the game, near the end of the first-half, referee whistles for what would be one of the best penalties of the entire history. 'Rik' Coppens was the one chosen to be the executioner of it but instead of shooting directly to the net, he passed to his teammate André Piters who shot for the 7-1. The game didn't ended there, the second half was open for more goals, specially for Iceland, but weren't enough to change a sure winner since it ended with a magnificent 8-3 and with a penalty that changed an entire nation of football lovers since then.

This particular way of scoring a penalty, the two-man penalty, was remade by many over the years, and even failed by many like Thierry Henry and Robert Pirès[1], but when someone talks about this particular style of scoring there is one name that immediately pops up – Johan Cruyff. A player who, with the help of his teammate Jasper Olsen, when both were players of Ajax, scored one of this amazing penalties against Helmond Sport.

Cruyff passed the ball to Jasper who then passed it back to a magnificent and cruel finish that many will remember for years.[2]

Late years[change | change source]

After his career as a player, he became a coach with Tubantia Borgerhout (1970-1971), Berchem (1971-1974 and 1977-1981), Beerschot (1974-1977 and 1981-1984) and Club Brugge (1981).[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Foi Coppens quem inventou o penálti "à Cruyff"". Publico. Saturday 07 February 2015 08.45. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. "Who took the first two-man penalty?". The Guardian. Wednesday 26 October 2005 12.36. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. Voetballegende Rik Coppens (84) overleden