Goalkeepers shine at this year's Belgian Golden Boot awards

Goalkeepers shine at this year's Belgian Golden Boot awards
Club Brugge's goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, winner of the 'Best player' and 'Best goalkeeper' award and OHL and Red Flames goalkeeper Nicky Evrard, winner of the 'Best Female player' award celebrate after winning the 'Golden Shoe' soccer award ceremony, Wednesday 25 January 2023 in Antwerp. The Golden Shoe is an award for the best football player in the Belgian Jupiler Pro League championship during the calendar year 2022. Credit: Belga / Kurt Desplenter

Goalkeepers took home the top honours at the 69th Belgian Golden Boot award on Wednesday night in Antwerp, with the men's title going to Club Brugge's Simon Mignolet, while OH Leuven's Nicky Evrard became the first goalie to win the women's award.

"It's unique to see two goalkeepers win," a smiling Evrard said later at a post-award press conference. "I had a feeling that I would be ranked high, but not so high that I would win."

Mignolet is the first male goalkeeper to win the award since Michel Preud’homme in 1987 and 1989. The only other goalkeepers to have received the title are Jean-Marie Pfaff (1978), Christian Piot (1972), Fernand Boone (1967) and Jean Nicolay (1963).

"It's fantastic and I'm very happy for Nicky," Mignolet commented. "It shows that we have good training for goalkeepers in Belgium."

"To win the Golden Boot, you have to do everything to stay in the minds of the voters. To do that, you have to be present in the big matches," he added.

Evrard: 'I think the Euro played in my favour'

Both awardees feel they owe their awards to their showing in the major continental competitions.

For Evrard it was the European Championships last summer, where she shone with the Red Flames, playing a major part in Belgium reaching the quarter-finals. "I think the Euro played in my favour," she commented. "It was a very good year for women's football, because we managed to qualify for the quarterfinals. That was a big factor."

She now aims to win the Lotto Super League title with OH Leuven and is hoping for a move abroad at the end of the season. "I dream of a big transfer, and I hope it will happen this summer," the 27-year-old said. "I am a fan of English football and it would be wonderful to play there."

And Mignolet's big moments? "For me, it was the playoffs and the Champions League," he said.

'Biggest points difference in history'

He had a great year in 2022, playing a key role in Club Brugge's 18th Belgian league title, its third in a row, won in May after a hard-fought battle with Union Saint-Gilloise in the Champion’s Playoffs. He has also made a name for himself in the UEFA Champions League: with five clean sheets in six games, he helped the Blauw & Zwart qualify for the round of 16, where they will face Benfica.

Related News

The 34-year-old told the press he was "proud to have won and to join the other goalkeepers in the prize list, especially with the biggest points difference in history."

Mignolet collected 684 points to win his first Belgian Golden Boot, ahead of Casper Nielsen, his team-mate at Brugge, who was second with 233 points. Racing Genk’s Mike Trésor (163 points) was third, Union captain Teddy Teuma (127), fourth, and Deniz Undav (112), fifth.

Earlier in the evening, Mignolet had already received the Goalkeeper of the Year award, for the fourth year in a row.

Latest News

Copyright © 2021 The Brussels Times. All Rights Reserved.