Tomorrow night, the votes of journalists, coaches and past winners will be counted in order to decide who will be Belgium’s ‘Golden Boot’ for 2016. As usual, the award will be based on performances over the calendar year rather than a complete football season.
There is usually a clear favourite for the award but this year appears to be an exception. The winner is most likely to ply his trade at the Jan Breydel stadium as Club Brugge, despite their total failure in Europe, have been the year’s dominant team in the Jupiler Pro League.
As Club Brugge were last season’s champions and are the current league leaders, it would seem to be a given that the Golden Boot will go to one of the Blauw-Zwart’s squad. Two names are in the frame – José Izquierdo and Ruud Vormer.
Izquierdo is the type of player that often arrives in the JPL, shines for a season or two, and then moves on to pastures new and more handsomely recompensed. The Colombian winger is 24 and but for injuries he would have already left the Belgian league. He is fast and tricky, with an eye for goal. In 2016, Izquierdo has scored 11 goals and had four assists in his 30 appearances.
Vormer, 28, is the exact opposite to Izquierdo. The ex-Roda and Feyenoord midfielder is the type that always gives 100% and is loved by the fans because of that. Vormer has often carried the team when other heads have dropped and he would win any award based on consistency. Vormer has seven goals and eight assists in his 34 games.
As it is not the fans voting, Izquierdo could beat his Dutch colleague and the only realistic alternative for the award is Anderlecht striker Lukasz Teodorczyk. On loan from Dynamo Kiev, Teodorczyk has scored 16 goals and had three assists in just 20 games. He only arrived in the summer and would be the first player for many years to have won the Golden Boot based on half a season. Certainly he has been the reason why the Brussels team is still in striking distance of Club Brugge as the playoffs loom.
Last 10 “Gouden Schoen”/ “Soulier D’Or” winners
2005 Sergio Conceiçao – Standard Liege
2006 Mbark Boussoufa – Gent/Anderlecht
2007 Steven Defour – Standard Liege
2008 Axel Witsel – Standard Liege
2009 Milan Jovanovic – Standard Liege
2010 Mbark Boussoufa – Anderlecht
2011 Matias Suarez – Anderlecht
2012 Dieumerci Mbokani – Anderlecht
2013 Thorgan Hazard – Zulte Waregem
2014 Dennis Praet – Anderlecht
2015 Sven Kums – Gent
Odd facts about the award
- Most points gained by winner of the ‘Golden Boot’: 509, Michel Preud’homme (KV Mechelen, 1987)
• Youngest ever winner: Paul Van Himst (Anderlecht, 1960) aged 17 years & 3 months.
• Club with the most winners of the award: Anderlecht (17 players – 23 awards), followed by Club Brugge (8, 10) and Standard Liege (8, 9).
• Oldest player to win: Lorenzo Staelens (Anderlecht, 1999) – aged 35 & 8 months.
• Most wins: Paul Van Himst (4), followed by Jan Ceulemans and Wilfried Van Moer (3 each).
• Largest winning margin: Vincent Kompany (by 403 points ahead of Luigi Pieroni in 2004).
• Only foreign players to have won twice: Par Zetterberg (1993 and 1997), Mbark Boussoufa (2006 and 2010).
• Last time that a player from Club Brugge won – 2002, Timmy Simons.