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Onuachu wins Ebony Shoe Award to complete Awards Hat-Trick

Admin 09-Jun-2021 Sports

Super Eagles forward, Paul Onuachu, has won the Ebony Shoe award – given to the best African or African origin player in the Belgian Pro-League.

Onuachu, who was top scorer in the Belgian Pro-League last season with 33 goals, beat Club Brugge’s Clinton Mata from Angola and Genk teammate Théo Bongonda from Belgium to second and third places respectively.

It completes a hat-trick of awards for the 27-Year-old, who had already won the Belgian Professional Footballer of the Year and top scorer's awards for 2020-21 season. 

"It doesn't happen to every footballer and I feel proud, honoured and delighted to win this special award as a Nigerian and significantly as a professional from Africa," Onuachu told BBC Sport Africa.

"To pick up three awards in a season is unbelievable and I thank God, my teammates and all the fans of Genk and Nigeria for the incredible support.

"I thank the organisers of the Ebony shoe award for their consistent and relentless support to African players in Belgium because this prize will continue to motivate us to do more."

The 27-year-old became the first Nigerian to win the award in 25 years after Celestine Babayaro won in 1996 while playing for Anderlecht.

He also became the fifth Nigerian to cart home the best African award since its inception in 1992.

Daniel Amokachi won twice in 1992 and 1994 with Brugge, while Victor Ikpeba and Godwin Okpara were the other Nigerians to win the award, in 1993 and 1995 with RFC Liège and Eendracht Aalst respectively.

The closest a Nigerian came close to winning the award after Babayaro was in 2015, when Moses Simon came second while playing for KAA Gent.

Eagles striker Onuachu was also named Genk’s best player in the just-concluded season.

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