Lior Refaelov, median of Antwerp, wins the Golden Shoe 2020. The Israeli, 34 years old and playing master of the Great Old, collected 271 points among the 196 ballots. He was quite clearly ahead of the Austrian creator of Beerschot Raphael Holzhauser (187) and the prolific Nigerian striker from KRC Genk Paul Onuachu (86). The top five is completed by two players from Club Brugge, defending champion and leader of the competition. The irremovable Simon Mignolet is 4th (75), just ahead of the elegant Charles De Ketelaere (72).
This is the first time since 2015 that the Golden Shoe has escaped the Bruges Gazelles. Indeed, the people of Bruges remained on four coronations with Jose Izquierdo (2016), Ruud Vormer (2017) and Hans Vanaken (2018, 2019), only 8th this year.
This distinction crowns a rich career in Belgian football that began ten years ago. The Antwerp player shone this year by winning the Belgian Cup and also shining in the Europa League. The Antwerp club managed to extract themselves from their hen, while beating Tottenham at home, on a goal from the Israeli.
Elegant and racy, the Antwerp resident flourished in the Antwerp metropolis while he seemed to have covered the Belgian question after his departure from FC Bruges. Laszlo Bölöni and Ivan Leko were able to make him again the decisive player he was under the orders of Michel Preud’homme in Bruges. Beside Dieumerci Mbokani, he is the other figurehead of the Antwerp project led by Lucien D’Onofrio.
Refaelov becomes the third Antwerp player to win the Golden Boot. Antwerp, number 1, had been waiting for this since 1966 and Wilfried Van Moer. Vic Maes had won the 3rd edition in 1956.
In this particular year, the organizer HLN changed the rules for awarding the trophy. Exceptionally, there was only one round of voting, unlike the usual two. The college of voters, made up of journalists, former winners and personalities of Belgian football, wrote three names on their little paper. The top 5 was already known since Wednesday morning: Holzhauser, De Ketelaere, Mignolet and Onuachu composed it.