Toby Alderweireld and Tessa Wullaert win Belgium's Golden Shoe

Toby Alderweireld was presented with the men's Golden Shoe award for the best footballer in the Belgian league on Thursday evening. The 34-year-old, who won the Belgian championship last year with Royal Antwerp FC, succeeds goalkeeper Simon Mignolet. Tessa Wullaert, of Dutch club Fortuna Sittard, won the women's award for a record fourth time in her career.

Veteran defender Alderweireld, who has played for major international clubs including Ajax, Atletico Madrid and Tottenham, returned to the Belgian league in 2022. His destination was the ambitious Royal Antwerp FC, his hometown club.

Antwerp, who returned to the top division thanks to funding by entrepreneur Paul Gheysens, needed an experienced captain to lead their squad. Alderweireld did not disappoint: not only was he the best defender of the past season, he also secured the national championship for the team with a 94th-minute goal against Genk on the final day of the season.

Forward Wullaert, 30, won the women's Golden Shoe. While the men's award goes to the best player in the Belgian league, regardless of nationality, the women's award goes to the best Belgian female player, either in Belgium or abroad. Now playing in the Netherlands, Wullaert's previous clubs include Manchester City, Wolfsburg and Anderlecht. She succeeds Chelsea goalkeeper Nicky Evrard.

Antwerp were the big winners at the awards ceremony, held at Antwerp Expo. Manager Mark van Bommel won the Coach of the Year award, while Arthur Vermeeren was named Talent of the Year. Alderweireld's championship-winning strike was voted Goal of the Year.


#FlandersNewsService | Toby Alderweireld and Tessa Wullaert © BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM

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