Browse all

The magic of football stadiums - Interview w/ Marco Magielse

We chatted with the author of "De Bosuil", a beautiful book about the Royal Antwerp Stadium

The magic of football stadiums - Interview w/ Marco Magielse We chatted with the author of De Bosuil, a beautiful book about the Royal Antwerp Stadium

"De Bosuil. Royal Football Ground” is a book from Marco Magielse that tells by pictures the history of the iconic Royal Antwerp stadium. The book is realized in collaboration with COPA (that included it in its Antwerp fan box) and can be bought on the website.
We didn’t lose time and get in touch with Marco in order to know more abut the incredible project. The same photographer gave us some exclusive shots.

Hi, Marco, nice to meet you and thank you for your time. First of all I’d like to ask you: when and how did your passion for Antwerp was born?

When I was a teenager I saw the black & white pictures of matches between Holland and Belgium in the fifties and sixties and was fascinated by the stadiums where these matches were played. The Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam and De Bosuil in Antwerp. Colossal football grounds and especially De Bosuil was very, very impressive to me. In 1989, when I was 21, I went there for the first time and had the luck to see the complete stadium. Shortly after my first visit, one of the great stands behind the goals was torn down. I’m not a diehard Antwerp fan, it’s the stadium I fell in love with. 

When did you start working on “de Bosuil” and how much time did it take you to finish it?

My first visit was the beginning of my book, although I didn’t know back then that there would ever be a book of course. I was a kid and just wanted to take pictures (slides and black & white film!) and didn’t think any further. The idea for a book came only two or three years ago, when I talked to the guys of COPA Football about the photos I made.

What did push you to do this massive work?

Well, it’s all love for football and football grounds. I don’t see it as work. And if so, it’s the most beautiful job on earth.

What do you think is the most special aspect of that stadium?

De Bosuil was a real big stadium, built with British influences. The terraces behind the goal where very high and steep. Behind one goal there were 20.000 spectators! In total de Bosuil could keep 65.000 people. The atmosphere could be quite frightening. The Dutch called it The Hell.

What is, in your opinion, the best timing to shot a football stadium?

I shot a lot of empty stadiums but more and more I tend to be in a stadium when there is a match. A stadium comes to life then. I always find it special when a match starts in daylight and darkness comes creeping in.

Which are the stadiums that you’d like to shot?

I have a list of grounds I still want to see. Lok Leipzig, Carlisle United, Luton Town, that kind of stuff. Further away I would like to visit la Bombonera and other stadiums in Argentina, the total football heaven.