Manuel Benson Biography – Childhood, Parents, Family [2024]

This detailed article relates to Manuel Benson’s Biography, and it provides you with Facts about the following; his early years, including his parents – Gina Pieters (Mother), Jorge Hedilazio (Father), siblings, family life, and romantic relationship with Ismahane.

The narrative also delves into the origins of his Belgian and Angolan families, his ethnicity, religious beliefs, hometown, educational background, and more. Furthermore, it sheds light on his lifestyle, net worth, and salary at Burnley.

To sum it up, this write-up offers an in-depth account of Manuel Benson’s life story. It describes a boy who trained relentlessly, often barefoot, to hone his skills, and eventually scored the goal that propelled Burnley to compete in the English Premier League.


Our rendition of Manuel Benson’s Bio starts with a glance at significant events of his childhood. We’ll then uncover his Belgian and Angolan roots and early career highlights, followed by his ascent to become a rising star in football.

As you delve into Manuel Benson’s biography, we hope to captivate your interest. To do so, let’s begin with a visual journey through his life, from his early days to his national team rise.

Everyone is aware of his impressive dribbling skills, capable of making defenders stumble. But many fans haven’t explored Manuel Benson’s biography, which is truly fascinating. Without further delay, let’s get started.

Manuel Benson’s Early Years:

Beginning with the basics, his full name is Manuel Benson Hedilazio. The energetic Aries was born on March 28, 1997, to his Angolan father, Jorge Hedilazio, and Belgian mother, Gina Pieters, in Lokeren, Belgium.

He is the sole child of his parents’ union – the duo (Jorge and Gina) who laid the groundwork for his career journey.

Growing Up:

Benson spent his childhood with his parents in his birthplace, Lokeren, as an only child. While he relished spending quality time with his mother, there were times he wished for a sibling, like many of his peers.

Manuel Benson’s Formative Years:

The idea of embarking on a football journey didn’t just spring up out of nowhere for Benson. He inherited this aspiration from his father, Jorge Hedilazio, who was a gifted player in his time.

His father was well-versed in the nuances of soccer and made sure he exposed his young son to the sport. As a result, Manuel Benson picked up a few football tricks from his father early on.

Interestingly, the young winger demonstrated independence from a tender age, often playing soccer with neighbourhood kids. This routine sparked a burning desire within Benson to achieve success through sports.

Manuel Benson’s Family Life:

Despite his father’s unfulfilled soccer career, Jorge Hedilazio worked tirelessly in other areas to provide for his family.

Together with his wife, they instilled values and gave Benson a solid upbringing. They encouraged their son to be independent, ensuring he could take on some essential responsibilities from a young age.

“By the age of 5, I was already taking care of my football boots and packing my bag,” Benson recalls.

Consequently, Benson inherited his father’s strong character. His upbringing, although challenging, led him towards self-sufficiency at an early age.

However, his modest family background offered him a clear understanding of life’s important aspects. Now a successful player, Manuel Benson will always cherish the memories of his humble beginnings.

Manuel Benson Family Roots:

Benson, born in Belgium, is a bona fide citizen of the European country. However, examining his familial roots, it is clear that his lineage is rooted in two distinct regions.

From his father’s side, Benson has Southwestern African roots – specifically from Angola. In the early years of the 21st century, Angola was engulfed in wars, resulting in widespread loss and devastation. However, the country eventually found its way to peace.

It might come as a surprise, but Benson’s paternal homeland is rich in natural resources. At the time of compiling this Manuel Benson’s Biography, Angola, the country of his origins, is among the largest crude oil producers in Africa, making it the richest and biggest Portuguese-speaking country in Africa.

Benson’s Maternal Heritage:

On his mother’s side, Benson can trace his origins to Belgium, which has had its own share of conflicts. In the late 18th century, the Belgian Revolution erupted, leading to the formation of the independent Kingdom of Belgium.

Today, this Dutch nation has made significant strides in both economic and political realms. It is well-known for its thriving diamond industry and world-renowned music festivals.

Manuel Benson’s Ethnic Background:

Considering what we’ve shared about Benson’s origins, it’s evident that his ethnicity is mixed. On his father’s side, he’s African, and on his mother’s side, he’s Dutch.

Interestingly, Belgium is home to two principal ethnic groups; the Flemish, who speak Dutch, and the Walloons, who speak French. There’s also a small constitutionally recognized group of German speakers.

Manuel Benson’s Education:

While football was always Benson’s primary passion, his parents insisted on him receiving a proper education.

Like his peers, Benson attended a traditional school to advance his academics. He spent his days acquiring new knowledge and his evenings playing football in the field behind his house.

This routine soon became a lifestyle for Benson, with his mother playing a significant role in helping him balance school and sports. Thus, the talented athlete is also academically proficient.

Manuel Benson’s Football Journey:

Benson embarked on his football journey as a young child under his father, Jorge Hedilazio’s, guidance. At the tender age of four, he started playing barefoot football.

His father, a former footballer, was his first coach, while his mother, Gina Pieters, encouraged him to be careful on the pitch. She also taught him to independently clean his boots and pack his bag at the age of five.

Only a year later, Benson expressed his desire to play football at Lokeren. As a result, his parents enrolled him at Sporting Lokeren RSC in 2003. At just six years old, he joined a football academy officially.

First Major Breakthrough:

Soon after joining his initial academy, Benson’s skill began to manifest. Scouts from Anderlecht were so impressed by his talent that they approached his father for recruitment. However, Benson’s father, Mr Jorge, initially declined the offer due to concerns about the club’s recruitment system.

He feared that if his son didn’t meet the club’s expectations in his first season, he might be made redundant. Holding onto the hope that a more suitable opportunity would present itself, he continued to nurture his son’s abilities.

Benson’s Initial Significant Transfer:

When Benson was 10, his father finally agreed to Anderlecht’s proposal. Much to his relief, his concerns were unfounded as Benson was consistently involved in the U11 and U12 games.

He even had the chance to participate in international tournaments while at Anderlecht. The young athlete later moved to the JMG Academy in Lierse, where he honed his football skills from 2010 to 2015.

Journey Towards Fame:

In 2014, Benson’s career received a significant boost when he secured his first senior contract and joined Lierse SK from JMG Academy. Finally, he made his long-awaited senior debut in April 2014, a day of celebration for his family and friends.

Despite his consistent performances, his team, Lierse SK, was relegated to the second division in 2016. However, the following season saw Benson and his teammates fight hard for play-off 2 qualification, putting him on the radar of numerous scouts.

Achieving International Recognition:

After his debut in 2014, Benson quickly won over officials of Belgium’s national team. Although eligible to represent Angola or Belgium, he chose his motherland. As of 2023, he has only had the opportunity to play for Belgium’s U19 and U21 teams, making a total of four appearances.

Manuel Benson’s Rise to Success:

Benson stayed with Lierse SK until 2017, attracting several scouts’ attention. After careful consideration and advice from his parents, Benson inked a four-year contract with Belgian club KRC Genk. This marked a new challenge for him as he vied for a spot in the starting lineup against high-caliber players like Leandro Trossard.

Unfortunately, Benson did not get sufficient playing time at KRC Genk and was subsequently loaned to Royal Excel Mouscron for a season. Here, he showcased his prowess, playing several matches and regaining his impressive form.

Securing his First Professional Medal:

Upon his return to Genk in 2019, Benson got the opportunity to play in the Belgian Supercup. His outstanding performance aided his team’s 3-0 triumph over KV Mechelen, earning him his first professional football medal.

Subsequently, in September 2019, he transferred to Royal Antwerp for a four-year stint, becoming one of their most costly acquisitions. At the time, his contract fee of €3 million was the highest amount Royal Antwerp had ever spent on a player.

Progression to the Premier League:

Initially, Benson received minimal playing time at Royal Antwerp, which resulted in a loan spell with PEC Zwolle. Despite this, he returned to Antwerp, making about 51 appearances. In August 2022, Benson moved to the EFL Championship side – Burnley.

Under the guidance of coach Vincent Kompany, Benson excelled, contributing significantly to Burnley’s remarkable performance. Burnley secured the 2022-23 EFL Championship title and ascended to the Premier League. The decisive goal against Blackburn that led to Burnley’s title win, and subsequent promotion, was a sensational strike by Benson, earning him the goal of the season award.

Relationship Status:

Contrary to the hopes of his admirers, Manuel Benson is not single. His significant other is Ismahane, a fellow Belgian from the Maasmechelen Municipality. Since the start of their relationship, Ismahane has been a supportive partner, often accompanying Benson to his matches and cheering him on from the sidelines. During his tenure at Burnley, the couple even moved in together.

Their Love Story:

Benson and Ismahane first met while he was playing at Lierse and she was still a student. They remained together, supporting each other through her graduation and subsequent job in Sint-Truiden.

The couple often explores various forms of enjoyment, from trips to beautiful locations to relaxing by the pool. Given their strong bond, it won’t be surprising if they decide to follow in the footsteps of Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard, transforming their relationship into a matrimonial alliance.

Personality Facts:

When you meet Manuel Benson, it becomes immediately clear that his charm is infectious. With his radiant disposition, he easily connects with those around him. This adept footballer always carries a joyful demeanour, both on and off the field.

Besides football, Benson’s interests span to include basketball. This pastime of his serves as an effective antidote to monotony.

Manuel Benson’s Lifestyle:

Benson exhibits a clear appreciation for style and fashion. One might compare his sartorial flair to an enhanced version of what Axel Witsel and Toby Alderweireld offer. A penchant for high-end jewelry is one of the ways Benson indulges his earnings.

Additionally, Benson’s residence reflects a tasteful interior design, a testament to the significant investment he has made in his home. Considering his income, it is likely that he also has the means to acquire luxury vehicles, although no evidence of such purchases appears on his social media profiles.

The Benson Family:

Any successful athlete understands the value of a supportive network, and in this, Benson’s family plays a crucial role. They serve as a steadfast pillar, constantly fueling his upward career trajectory.

This section contains detailed information about each member of the Benson family, starting with his father.

Jorge Hedilazio Manuel, Father of Manuel Benson:

Football runs in the family, as Manuel Benson is not the first in his lineage to delve into the sport. His father, Jorge Hedilazio Manuel, was a notable player long before Manuel’s birth, having played professionally for Lokeren until an unfortunate injury ended his career.

Jorge commenced his fleeting football journey at the tender age of seventeen, playing for Lokeren’s youth team under the guidance of Aimé Anthuenis. His prowess was such that he earned a spot on the main team, but injuries prematurely halted his progress.

During his active years, Jorge demonstrated a strong aversion to defeat. He was of a slight build but possessed exceptional dribbling abilities and impressive speed on the left side of the field. Although naturally right-footed, Manuel learned the use of his left foot under his father’s guidance.

Gina Manuel, Mother of Manuel Benson:

Manuel’s mother, Gina Manuel, has provided him with unwavering support throughout his journey. Also a Belgian national, she met Jorge in the early 1990s at Bobby’s Club, a dance café owned by Lokeren’s legend, Bob Hoogenboom.

Their encounter occurred during Jorge’s active playing years at the East Flemish club. After a period of dating, they got married. One noteworthy aspect of Gina is her intolerance towards any perceived unfairness towards her son during his games.

On one occasion, she openly expressed her dissatisfaction with a referee’s decision against Manuel’s team. The support and understanding she brings to her son’s career are evidently invaluable.

Manuel Benson’s Family Structure:

As previously discussed, Benson is an only child. Despite not having any siblings, he has never felt the void, thanks to his friends who have been by his side since his early years.

Additional Facts:

In this concluding part of Manuel Benson’s biography, we bring to light some intriguing details about the footballer that may have escaped your attention. Let’s explore them.

Manuel Benson’s Earnings:

After his transition to Burnley, Benson saw a considerable increase in his weekly pay. As per our research, his annual salary stands at a remarkable £860,000.

It’s plausible that his income might soon reach the ranks of fellow Belgian players like Youri Tielemans or Kevin De Bruyne, given that his team is now part of the EPL. However, until that transpires, here’s a simplified table showcasing his salary at Vincent Kompany’s Burnley.

Manuel Benson’s Financial Status:

A glance at Benson’s salary breakdown reveals that he garners a significant income, sufficient to afford a luxurious lifestyle. Compared to the average earnings of his Belgian compatriots, it’s evident that Benson is in an exceedingly prosperous financial position.

For context, the median annual income for a Belgian is £37,707 (€43,932). This implies that an average Belgian would need to work for more than two years to match what Benson earns in a single month.

Manuel Benson’s Affinity for Tattoos:

The footballer displays a clear fondness for body art. He joins the ranks of EPL wingers like Marcus Rashford and Jaidon Anthony in exhibiting tattoos on his body. Benson’s visible tattoos include those on his arms, legs, and back.

Manuel Benson’s FIFA Ratings:

Anyone who has seen Benson in action will notice the remarkable progression he has made throughout his career. His statistics suggest that he (as of 2023) is nearing the climax of his powers – similar to Justin Kluivert and Lautaro Martinez.

Benson showcases notable sprint speed, strength, agility, endurance, and other essential striker attributes. It seems just a matter of time before he uses that to make an impact in the Premier League like Yoane Wissa and Eden Dzeko has done.


Manuel Benson, born to his Angolan father, Jorge Hedilazio, and Belgian mother, Gina Pieters, hails from Lokeren, Belgium. As an only child, he spent his formative years in his hometown.

At a tender age, Benson expressed his passion for football to his parents. To his delight, his parents not only backed his choice but also taught him the importance of independence from an early age.

Benson’s journey to prominence wasn’t smooth sailing. However, his father, a former footballer, provided invaluable guidance, helping him navigate the challenges and maintain his ambition.

After various inconsistent transfers, Benson made a significant impact in the Belgian league, eventually joining the EFL Championship team, Burnley. He excels in a Vincent Kompany-led Burnley team that boasts of strikers like Lyle Foster, David Datro Fofana and Zeki Amdouni.

His defining goal against Bristol City paved the way for Burnley’s promotion to the EPL. Throughout this journey, Benson’s girlfriend, Ismahane, remained a constant pillar of support.


We appreciate your time in reading this rendition of Manuel Benson’s life story as presented by SoccerBiography. Our mission remains to deliver authentic and accurate narratives of European footballers’ lives.

Please feel free to contact us if you encounter any inaccuracies in Manuel Benson’s biography. We also welcome your thoughts on the accomplished Belgian footballer who knows how to beat Championship bullies.

Beyond this account of Manuel Benson’s life, we offer numerous captivating footballer biographies. Our Belgian Catalogue contains many such fascinating narratives that are sure to pique your interest. Stay tuned for more, like the History of Amadou Onana and Romeo Lavia – two fast-rising Red Devil sensations.

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