As expected beforehand, Dieumerci Mbokani has become the recipient of the Belgian Golden Shoe. He is the third consecutive Anderlecht player to win the award, voted for by journalists among others. Mbokani’s score of 401 points was more than twice that of runner-up Jelle Vossen (Racing Genk, 178) points. Mbokani’s team-mate Silvio Proto finished third. Although the prolific forward known affectionately as Dieu was not present in Vilvoorde to collect the award in person, there was a live link-up to Port Elizabeth where he is on Africa Cup of Nations duty with DR Congo. Mbokani nominated Cheikhou Kouyaté, his best friend at the club and Anderlecht president Roger Vandenstock to receive the prestigious Gouden Schoen / Soulier d’Or. Mbokani dedicated the award to his wife and child, both of whom were present in South Africa.
In the most emotional moment of the evening, Alain Nieuwenhuizen, son of Richard, the Dutch official so tragically killed last year, presented the Fair Play Trophy to Mons’ Tom van Imschoot. Dalibor Veselinovic won the Goal of the Year award for this Peter Crouchesque volley against KAA Gent while Oli Deschacht’s girlfriend Annelien Coorevits picked up the prize for the best WAG.
Belgian Golden Shoe top 10 (with players’ current clubs listed):
|2||Jelle Vossen||Racing Genk|
|4||Kevin De Bruyne||Chelsea / Werder Bremen|
|6||Carlos Bacca||Club Brugge|
|7||Thomas Buffel||Racing Genk|
|9=||Franck Berrier||Zulte Waregem|
As I wrote here, many felt at the time that Anderlecht were taking too big a risk in bringing Mbokani (and Jovanovic) back to Belgian football. However, Anderlecht have in that time not only regained the title but have also returned to the Champions League group stage with Mbokani scoring many crucial goals. It would have been nice to see one Lokeren representative in the top ten (Benji De Ceulaer) to recognise a stellar year for the Waasland club but equally we have yet more evidence of Anderlecht’s current dominant status in Belgium with four players in the top ten.