LB presents the Full Story of Football Genius who is best known by the nickname; “Chaloupe“.
Our Axel Witsel Childhood Story plus Untold Biography Facts brings to you a full account of notable events from his childhood time to date.
The analysis involves his life story before fame, relationship life, family background and many OFF-Pitch facts (little known) about him.
Yes, everyone knows about his ball control and holding midfield abilities. However, only a hand few fans know much about Axel Witsel’s Bio which is quite interesting. Now without further adieu, let’s Begin.
Axel Witsel Childhood Story – Early and Family Background:
Axel Laurent Angel Lambert Witsel was born on the 12th day of January 1989 to parents; mother, Sylvie Witsel and father, Thierry Witsel in the beautiful city of Liège, Belgium.
Axel was born into a mixed-race and loving family background. His jovial loving parents had their children at an early age.
His mother pictured below, is Belgian and his father has roots in the French Caribbean island of Martinique. Both had their children at an early age.
Axel Witsel grew up with his one and only kid sister who goes by the name Whitney Witsel. Despite having a Belgian white mother, both kids were born inheriting their father’s gene thus making them be grouped as members of the Belgian Black Ethnicity.
Growing up, Withney to Axel, a greater feeling of being loved thanks to their open lines of communication which both siblings inherited from their parents.
Naturally, Axel grew up as a young boy, having football at his feet and finding himself loving only football as a hobby and gift.
His parents allowed him to play on open pitches but never considered their son taking football seriously.
This was because of the limited opportunities Belgian football provided at that time. As Axel puts it;
‘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.’
Axel was 15 years when he decided to quit playing with friends at local pitches. He got the opportunity to go professional with Standard Liège thanks to an opportunity he got from the Royal Belgian Football Association funding. The buildup to his involvement with Standard Liège is explained below.
Axel Witsel Childhood Biography Story – Career Buildup:
During the late-1990’s, Belgium witnessed a new wave of football enthusiasm leading to a revolution in the game.
The country with a population of only 11m had a watershed moment in 1998 after their national team disgracefully crashed out of the 1998 world cup group tournament.
Bob Browaeys, who was the coach of Belgium youth teams at every level was tasked to put on a Sablon’s blueprint document which would challenge the “lack of unified vision on youth” football at that point.
This document led to over 30 Belgian federation coaches meeting to discuss the radical change in the approach of football in the county.
One of their findings was that there was far too much emphasis on winning and not enough on development. This led to the youth football revolution in Belgium.
Football clubs got boosted financially which directly influenced their scouting network within the country.
This was how Axel got the opportunity when scouts picked him up to play for his hometown club, Standard Liège.
Axel Witsel Childhood Biography Facts -Career in Summary:
Unlike many footballers who started their youth career early (between age 6 to 8), Axel became a youth club newcomer at a relatively old age (age 15).
There was a meteoric rise to his growth and his ambitions of joining the club’s senior team weren’t just a passing fancy.
Back then, he was the best at guiding the ball and protecting defenders. When interviewed about this quality, he said;
I was always like that, guiding the ball ever since I was a kid — I love to hold the ball and shield it. it’s one of my strong sides — knowing how to use my body was always my style.
Axel successfully outgrew all youth ranks and began his senior career at hometown club Standard Liège with his father becoming his agent.
Axel made 183 appearances and scoring 42 goals while winning five domestic trophies. There were two notable moments as far as his rise to fame was concerned.
The first was when he was awarded the Belgian Golden Shoe in 2008.
The second was when he won the Young Footballer of the Year Award in the 2007/08 campaign.
Axel Witsel with his achievements became one of Belgium’s most successful and sort after players.
Axel Witsel – Rafaella Szabo Love Story:
Behind every great man, there’s a great woman, or so the saying goes. And behind almost every successful Belgian footballer, there’s a glamorous wife, wag or girlfriend.
Without a doubt, Axel Witsel’s style of play, as well as his lifestyle off the pitch build up a complete picture of him.
Axel has been in a relationship with Rafaella Szabo who was born in Romania with Hungarian roots. She moved to Belgium when she was two years old.
Both Rafaella and Axel dated for 6 years before deciding to tie the knots in 2015.
Their marriage is currently blessed with two lovely daughters who are recent members of the Axel Witsel family. Axel’s eldest daughter’s name is Maï-Li Witsel.
The Aim to Building a Rich Family Background:
In 2017, Axel Witsel’s decision to turn down a move to Juventus in favour of a lucrative offer from the Chinese Super League got fans around the world upset. Witsel when interviewed claimed he made the best choice for his family.
His reason for accepting China’s money worth €18 million per year was to build a rich Axel Witsel family background which would ensure decades of financial stability and happiness.
Axel wasn’t moved by Juventus offering him €4.5 million-per-year compared to his previous wages of €3 million-per-year at Zenit.
If he had accepted, he’d be joining a historically powerful European team playing in the Champions League knockout rounds, with a real shot at winning the tournament.
Instead, he chose to sign for China’s Tianjin Quanjian, founded in 2006, following the footsteps of Carlos Tevez, for an annual salary which was 4 times greater than what Juventus offered him.
When Witsel’s transfer to Tianjin was announced, social media exploded with fans calling him a mercenary, money grabber, and every other insult under the sun reserved for athletes who choose to put their own financial well-being ahead of anything else.
Axel Witsel Untold Biography Facts – The Defense:
Everything about Witsel’s answer to the accusation from fans as regards his transfer to China was perfectly reasonable.
He was realistic about his motivation to provide for his family and assure his future; and why shouldn’t he be?
In his words;…
More than ever before, soccer is a business. It’s driven by profits, margins, and turnover. Players are equally commodities and employees, free to be traded and dealt as balance sheet and finances dictate.
In the business world, a move to a new job that led to an employee sextupling their salary would be greeted with congratulations and praise. But for some reason, this sentiment doesn’t seem to apply to athletes. Why should sportspeople be held to a different standard than the rest of the world?
For supporters who watch the sport day in and day out, it can be difficult to grasp that this beautiful game of soccer is just a job for a number of athletes.
While many fantastic players do show up and entertain the crowds simply for the love of the game, for others, it’s solely an avenue to make a comfortable living and take care of one’s family. Fans often live vicariously through their sporting heroes, and to hear that they’re motivated by money rather than a pure, unadulterated passion for the game can be a real hammer blow, especially given the tiny minority of people who do earn the opportunity to be professional athletes.
Because of this, lots of his fans have agreed that Witsel’s decision makes perfect sense.
Axel Witzel Personal Facts:
Your hobbies outside of football?
Football for me is business. I also love entertainment. Not long ago I bought a DJ turntable. I have a lot of friends who are DJs, so I started to play with it a little bit. For the time being it’s just for me.
Axel Witsel Untold Facts – Once Caused Outrage:
Witsel sparked outrage in 2009 when he broke Marcin Wasilewski’s leg by stamping on him during a game between Anderlecht and Standard.
He faced an eight-match ban for the incident and received numerous death threats from angry Anderlecht and Poland supporters.
Axel Witsel Racism Facts:
Years ago, Zenit St Petersburg supporters group non-white and gay players to be excluded from the team. The Russian champions’ largest fans’ group, Landscrona, said in an open letter that black players whose group Axel Witsel belongs to were “forced down Zenit’s throat”. They added that gay players are “unworthy of our great city”.
In the defence for their racism, The fans’ manifesto read:
“The absence of black Zenit players is just an important tradition that underlines the team’s identity and nothing more.”
Ideally, black players in the Russian league have been the target of monkey chants and banana throws. Anzhi Makhachkala’s Christopher Samba had bananas thrown at him by fans.
More so, Zenit St Petersburg was fined by the Russian Football Union after one of their fans offered Roberto Carlos of Anzhi a banana before a match between the two sides in March 2011.
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