Onuachu Set For Another Vital Award In Belgium

Paul Onuachu may just succeed Dieumerci Mbokani for the Ebony Shoe, the top award given annually to the best player of African origin playing in Belgium.

The Nigerian international will then be the first Nigerian since Celestine Babayaro in 1996 to claim the honours, ending Nigeria’s 25-year wait for a trophy that once seems like the country’s birthright.

Daniel ‘Da Bull’ Amokachi, under Club Brugge, was the first player to win the Ebony Shoe, which was instituted in 1992.

He reclaimed the best African player award two years later after RFC Liege striker Victor Ikpeba pipped Amokachi and defender Chidi Nwanu to the podium in 1993.

That year was the first – and it remains the only time – that players from the same country would emerge as the three finalists.

Godwin Okpara won it in 1995 after his excellent performances for Eendracht Aalst before Babayaro picked up what proved to be Nigeria’s last win to date.

However, there should be no denying Onuachu the Ebony Shoe following his extraordinary goalscoring feat in the recently concluded Belgian Pro League.

The Super Eagles striker faces competition from the Anderlecht duo of Sambi Lokonga and Lukas Nmecha and Club Brugges’ Clinton Mata.

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The winner of the 2021 award will be announced on Monday, June 7, during a trophy ceremony to be broadcast on the organisers’ Facebook page.

This article was most recently revised and updated 1 year ago

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