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Gilles De Bilde
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Personal information
Full name Gilles De Bilde
Date of birth June 9, 1971 (1971-06-09) (age 38)
Place of birth    Zellik, Belgium
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Playing position Striker
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
1992–1995
1995–1997
1997–1999
1999–2001
2000–2001
2001–2003
2003–2004
2005–2007
Eendracht Aalst
RSC Anderlecht
PSV Eindhoven
Sheffield Wednesday
Aston Villa (loan)
RSC Anderlecht
Lierse SK
KVC Willebroek-Meerhof
86 (40)
46 (22)
49 (24)
59 (13)
04 0(0)
44 (14)
15 0(1)
34 0(4)   
National team
1994–2000 Belgium 25 0(2)

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Gilles De Bilde (born June 9, 1971 in Zellik) is a former Belgian footballer who played as a striker. At club level, he played for K.S.C. Eendracht Aalst, Anderlecht, Sheffield Wednesday, PSV and Lierse.

At K.S.C. Eendracht Aalst, he won the 1994 Belgian Player of the Year and hit 21 goals in 33 games in 1994-95, prompting R.S.C. Anderlecht to sign the volatile De Bilde in 1995, who responded scoring 22 goals in 46 league games.

De Bilde gained somewhat of a reputation of enfant terrible, after he hit a player of his former team, Krist Porte, during an Anderlecht-Aalst game. That scandal, plus another incident when he punched two nurses after he was denied access to a hospital room where his father had been taken following a brain haemorrhage, prompted De Bilde to accept a move abroad, with Dutch side PSV Eindhoven paying £3millon in August 1997. He scored 24 goals in 49 league matches.

A £3million move to Sheffield Wednesday in August 1999 settled De Bilde down. His combative style made him initially popular with Owls fans. He also became the club's leading goal scorer that season scoring 11 goals. In October, he ended a nine-month exile from the national side having walked out. De Bilde scored 13 goals in his 59 league games for the Owls, adding four games on loan at Aston Villa.

Despite an initially fruitful start to his spell with Sheffield Wednesday, De Bilde's association with the side's decline as a footballing force and the perception that he was a mercenary figure who cared little about the club's fortunes made him a particular hate figure for Wednesday fans. De Bilde became synonymous with the crop of players who received hefty salaries yet failed to perform to the expected standard. This was especially the case following the club's relegation to the old Division One (nowadays known as the Football League Championship).

Then-Sheffield manager Paul Jewell claimed that, during his time at Wednesday, De Bilde turned down a loan deal because there was no-one to look after his dogs. The striker rejoined Anderlecht in 2001 on a free transfer and played in the UEFA Champions League before moving on to SK Lierse in 2003. His love for "man's best friends" got him into trouble again in September 2006. He missed a match for his club at the time, Willebroek Meerhof (of the Belgian Third Division), due to the death of his pet dog.

De Bilde played 25 times for Belgium, scoring two goals. He made the squad for Euro 2000 but only made a single substitute appearance, in the 0-2 loss against Turkey.

After retiring, De Bilde became a regular football analyst in Belgian TV-programmes commenting the Champions League and the domestic league. He also appeared as a model for Belgian fashion designer Dirk Bikkembergs, and appeared regularly in TV shows around celebrity challenges like Dancing on Ice, Celebrity Shock and others.

In 2009 he had his own show, called Homeless World Cup. In this show he is the coach of the Belgian soccer team for homeless people, while they participated the Homeless World Cup 2008.

References

External links

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