Zeno Debast, one of our own, waves goodbye to RSCA

Zeno Debast

From Sporting to Sporting. After 13 years at his childhood club, Zeno Debast makes the permanent move to Sporting Lisbon. Our Academy product is signing a contract of 5 seasons in the Portuguese capital. 

From a rather shy kid in our U8 to a stronghold of the first team. From technically savvy midfielder to a refined central defender. From boy to man. Academy player Zeno Debast covered a huge path in his 13 years at RSC Anderlecht.

After Zeno made his way through all the youth ranks, the boy from Halle reached a first milestone in his career at the age of 16. His first contract with Anderlecht - the team of his dreams, the team of his heart - followed after a remarkable development and a transformation from midfielder to central defender. By his first contract extension in 2019, Zeno was already training with the first team. All the while, he was working hard behind the scenes to make his dream come true: making his debut for RSC Anderlecht's first team. That dream came true for the first time on May 2nd 2021, when Zeno came off the bench against Club Brugge in the Champions' Play-Offs.

Zeno finally took his place in the first team at the age of just 17. In the '22-'23 season, the elegant central defender played no less than 49 games and tried his hand at European football for the first time. Meanwhile, he received his first call-up for the Belgian national team in September 2022, immediately making his debut in the Nations League game against Wales. Since then, Zeno has been a member of the national team's A-squad and also played in two group-stage matches at the Euros.

Last season, Zeno put the icing on the cake. He developed into a stronghold in the back line, next to the experienced leader Jan Vertonghen. His childhood dream came true when Jan Vertonghen, due to injury, passed on the captain's armband to Zeno. What a way to say goodbye.

Zeno has completed all the steps at his childhood club. RSC Anderlecht wants to put on record its gratitude to Zeno for his commitment, mentality and his unconditional love for purple & white. The club is also particularly proud of Zeno's development and track record - he’s yet another textbook example of how a player 'Made in Neerpede' manages to gear up for what will undoubtedly be a wonderful international career.

Zeno Debast:

"Especially in the last three seasons, everything has happened so quickly for me. From training with the U18 to my first games match with the U23s, to my debut in the first team. They are all experiences that have made me stronger as a player and as a person. I was given the chance to develop into a regular in the first team of RSC Anderlecht as a player of the youth academy. And I was even able to fulfil the ultimate dream: to wear the captain's armband of this club.

My bond with this club is hard to put into words. Anderlecht is a very big part of my life and always will be. It is thanks to the club that I became the player and the person I am today. I cherish the same love for the Sporting club crest as the fans. I have never been able or willing to hide that: I just share that deep club love with all the supporters.

There are so many people I am grateful to. My family, my parents, my little brother, the people from the management and the board, my youth coaches, the coaches of recent years, to délégués, bus drivers, the people who helped me at school,.... I won't forget anyone.

I was able to fulfil my dream, and for that I will be eternally grateful to this club. Now it's time to take the next step. But I’ll be back, one day.”

CEO Sports Jesper Fredberg:

“Zeno is a prime example of the pathway from an Academy player to a first team stronghold. With two seasons as a starter in the first team under his belt, he is now ready for the next step. We’re all very happy with his development and with the deal that we’ve made with Sporting Lisbon. We wish him the best of luck and we’re looking forward to welcoming him back again at Anderlecht in the future.”

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