The Super Eagles forward has been rewarded for a brilliant 2021 campaign in which he was unstoppable in front of goal
Genk striker Paul Onuachu has been named the winner of the 2021 Belgian Golden Shoe award, becoming the first-ever Nigerian and the fourth African to claim the prestigious honour.
Until Onuachu’s famous win on Wednesday night, no Nigerian had ever clinched the award given in Belgium at the beginning of each year to the best footballer of the Belgian First Division A for the past year.
Three Africans, Ivory Coast’s Aruna Dindane in 2003, Morocco’s Mbark Boussoufa twice in 2006 and 2010, and Democratic Republic of Congo’s Dieumerci Mbokani in 2012, had previously won the award.
Onuachu finished in third place last year in the running for the Golden Shoe, coming behind winner Israeli star Lior Refaelov and second-placed Raphael Holzhauser.
But after scoring an incredible 29 league goals over the entire 2020-21 season and adding another 12 in the first half of the current campaign, there was no stopping the Super Eagles striker this time.
The 27-year-old goal machine 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.
With the win, Onuachu becomes only the third Genk player in history to be named Belgium’s best and the first in 20 years.
The former Midtjylland star is currently recuperating from an injury that kept him out of the Nigerian squad to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.