Best Belgian Player in any League
Eden Hazard had another remarkable season (20 goals and 15 assists, Ligue 1 player of the year) while Jan Vertonghen was elected the Eredivisie’s top man as Ajax took the championship. But the award has to go to Vincent Kompany for his leadership of Premier League champions Manchester City both on and off the field. This guy is special and he can do a lot for European football.
Top Player in the Jupiler League
Anderlecht’s Matias Suarez took all the awards on offer and he certainly looked good, especially before Christmas. However, his Player of the Year award (from journalists et al) was based on a calendar year and he certainly hadn’t outshone Axel Witsel and Thibaut Courtois who had left Belgium in the summer. The award therefore goes to Silvio Proto who was consistent all season in front of a constantly changing defence. He was one of the main reasons why Anderlecht were champions and it’s a pity he’s talked himself out of the Belgian squad.
Most promising player in the Jupiler league
Anderlecht’s young Brazilian Fernando Canesin took the league by storm at the beginning of the season. He then disappeared from view but he looks certain to be a force in years to come. Genk’s Chelsea-bound Kevin De Bruyne had an inconsistent season – troubled by injury – but his performances in central midfield towards the end of the season marked him out as a special talent.
Top Jupiler League coach
Ariel Jacobs won the title with Anderlecht but his impact seemed to be minimal. Christophe Daum arrived at Club Brugge mid-season and shook things up but he soon seemed to settle for second best. My vote goes to Hein Vanhaezebrouck who came back from his unhappy time at Genk to take Kortrijk – with a budget of – to the senior playoffs and to the cup final. Honorary mentions also to Bob Peeters who seemed to love every minute at Cercle Brugge and Lokeren’s Peter Maes.
Most Disappointing Belgian player in an international sense
Romelu Lukaku hardly figured on Chelsea’s radar but it’s hard to blame the player totally for that. Jelle Van Damme and Silvio Proto get a nod for letting Georges Leekens know that if they were going to watch matches from the stands, then they’d rather not be selected for the national squad. The award, however, goes to Anthony Vanden Borre. He’s played at many clubs in many countries and is always referred to as the player who was the equal of Kompany when at Anderlecht. It’s time he sorted his head out as he’s now leaving Genk, by mutual consent, destination unknown.
Most disappointing player in the Jupiler league
There is only one contender here – Club Brugge’s Bjorn Vleminckx. He arrived in the Jupiler league with the title of leading scorer in the Eredivisie. He then proceeded to play as if he was far too good for the Jupiler league while totally under-achieving. Thankfully Joseph Akpala stepped up to the plate and he wasn’t really missed.
For bad conduct
This goes to Georges Leekens who ran the Belgian FA as if it was his own fiefdom. He then quit for extra cash at Club Brugge saying that his job was 90% complete.
For working in the dark
The Belgian FA for not noticing that Leekens was on his way out of the door until he turned up at the Jan Breydel stadium wearing a Blauw-Zwart scarf.
Hey, that wasn’t too shabby.
Honorary mentions to Lokeren’s Benjamin De Ceulaer and Leuven winger Jordan Remacle who both hit 12 goals (penalties excluded). But the award goes jointly to Genk strikers Christian Bentekeand Jelle Vossen who both scored heavily – especially in the playoffs – as Genk managed to grab third place.