Paul Onuachu, a Nigerian, has been named the winner of the 2021 Belgian Golden Shoe award.
Onuachu who becomes the first-ever Nigerian and the fourth African to claim the prestigious honour, join the leagues of other Africans who have one the award, Aruna Dindane of Cote d’Ivoire (2003) Morocco’s Mbark Boussoufa twice (2006 and 2010) and DR Congo’s Dieumerci Mbokani (2012).
Onuachu polled 333 votes to beat the Club Brugge duo of Noa Lang (272 votes) and Charles De Ketelaere (271 votes) to second and third, respectively.
The 27-year-old finished in third position last year, coming behind winner Lior Refaelov of Israel and second-placed Raphael Holzhauser, but emerged winner this time around after scoring 29 league goals over the entire 2020-21 season and adding another 12 in the first half of the current campaign.
With the win, Onuachu becomes only the third Genk player in history to be named Belgium’s best and the first in 20 years.
Onuachu is currently recuperating from an injury that kept him out of the Super Eagles squad to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
The Belgian Golden Shoe award is given at the beginning of each year to the best footballer in the country’s First Division A for the past year.