SV Zulte Waregem's Thorgan Hazard was left to reflect on a "fantastic year" after he was named Belgium's player of 2013 on Wednesday evening.
The on-loan Chelsea FC midfielder, younger brother of Eden, edged out Club Brugge KV forward Maxime Lestienne and RSC Anderlecht keeper Silvio Proto in the 60th edition of the poll of journalists and football dignitaries. He succeeds Dieudonné Mbokani.
"I want to thank the club again," the 20-year-old said after collecting the Golden Boot from Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council. "Last year, 2013, was a fantastic year for the whole team and for the fans. I also want to thank my family and my fiancee."
Playing on the left wing, Hazard was a key figure in Zulte Waregem's fine 2012/13 campaign, when the side were in contention for the title until the last day when Anderlecht prevailed. This term the former RC Lens man has switched inside to a playmaking role and has already contributed nine First League goals and 11 assists. Zulte Waregem, Anderlecht and Club Brugge are seven points adrift of leaders R. Standard de Liège.
Talent of the year: Thorgan Hazard (SV Zulte Waregem)
Coach of the year: Francky Dury (SV Zulte Waregem)
Goalkeeper of the year: Silvio Proto (RSC Anderlecht)
Best Belgian player abroad: Thibaut Courtois (Club Atlético de Madrid)
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