Belgium fairy tale continues for ex-Portsmouth, Peterborough and Middlesbrough defender at table-topping club this Christmas

Former Pompey favourite Christian Burgess enters Christmas sitting on top of Belgium football.

By Pepe Lacey
Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 5:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 5:37 pm

Royale Union Saint-Gilloise head the Pro League by six clear points as the promoted side maintain their impressive season.

They secured top spot at Christmas with a weekend 2-0 victory over struggling Waregem, with Burgess registering his third goal of the campaign.

It ensures Saint-Gilloise are the surprise leaders, ahead of the likes of Champions League regulars Club Brugge, Anderlecht and Gent.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

Burgess has featured 14 times this campaign, having last term played a pivotal role in their return to the highest division after a 48-year absence.

The central defender spent five seasons at Fratton Park before his July 2020 departure, racking up 210 appearances and collecting the League Two title and Checkatrade Trophy.

Now aged 30, he was crowned The News/Sports Mail’s Player of the Season in his final campaign, helping Pompey to another play-off finish.

Burgess has socred three times this season helping Royale Union Saint-Gilloise climb to the top of the Belgium Pro League. (Photo by LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

Last month he was in sat among Blues fans at Adams Park as Danny Cowley’s side secured a vital 1-0 victory over high-flying Wycombe.

The former Fratton favourite helped Les Unionistes win the Belgium second division in his first season at the club as his side clinched the title by 28 points.

Saint-Gilloise are now six points above second-placed side Club Brugge as they go in search of a first top-flight title in 86 years.

The meteoric rise to the top of the first division has been overseen by Tony Bloom, the Brighton owner who also has interest in the Belgium club.

Burgess was in attendance for Pompey's 1-0 victory against Wycombe at Adams Park last month. Picture: Graham Hunt

Alongside Bloom, Belfast-born Chris O'Loughlin is the sporting director who influenced the recruitment of Burgess as well as former MK Dons wing-back Matthew Sorinola.

With Burgess’ Belgium fairy tale continuing, he could soon be lining up against the world’s best next season as Saint-Gilloise go in search of their first Champions League adventure.

And undoubtedly there will be plenty among the Fratton faithful cheering him on along the way.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

You can support our local team of expert Pompey writers by subscribing here for all the latest news from Fratton Park for 14p a day.