Belgian Luca Brecel becomes world snooker champion

Belgian Luca Brecel becomes world snooker champion
Credit: Belga

Belgian snooker player Luca Brecel became the country's first-ever world snooker champion on Monday evening after completing the most dramatic of comebacks to win 18-15 over Mark Selby in Sheffield, England.

By beating the Englishman Selby in the World Snooker Championship Final, Brecel is the first ever player from mainland Europe to be crowned world champion, in a game usually dominated by British, Irish or Australian players.

The Belgian Bullet, as he is nicknamed, defeated current world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan in the quarter-finals – considered to be one of the best snooker players of all time.

Luca Brecel was also making his first-ever appearance in a World Snooker Championship final, and was competing in his sixth tournament. His victory will see him move from 1oth to 2nd in the world snooker rankings.

Brecel has recieved huge praise in the British press: "Until now, Leandro Trossard was Maasmechelen's best-known export, but Belgium now has a new rock star. Luca Brecel is not a classic snooker champion," wrote British newspaper The Guardian on Tuesday.

In an interview with the 28-year-old earlier this year, he told The Brussels Times that “In Belgium, we’re really good at sports." When asked ahead of the tournament if he had found some renewed focus, he said: "Not really, it was always going to take time,” he says. “I’m still improving, but now I’m at my best!"

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