Season review: Belgium

Club Brugge KV had a fine campaign but the games took their toll as KAA Gent finished strongly to claim the first Belgian championship in their 115-year history.

Gent celebrate winning their first Belgian title
Gent celebrate winning their first Belgian title ©Getty Images

Champions: KAA Gent
Gent ended the regular First League season four points adrift of top spot but finished strongly to claim the first Belgian championship in their 115-year history. As Club Brugge KV slumped, Gent surged past them, wrapping up the title with two matches to spare – the UEFA Champions League beckons. "We always believed we were capable of a lot, but only when we won at Anderlecht on the final day of the regular season did we feel the championship was possible," said coach Hein Vanhaezebrouck.

Cup final: Club Brugge KV 2-1 RSC Anderlecht
The first Belgian Cup final between the giants of the Belgian game since 1994 did not disappoint – eventually. Club Brugge took an early lead through Tom De Sutter and it remained 1-0 until two minutes from time when Aleksandar Mitrović equalised. However, Lior Refaelov's ensuing stoppage-time volley earned Club Brugge their first major trophy in eight years. "Everyone at the club has been waiting to win a prize for so long," said coach Michel Preud'homme. "The first trophy is always the hardest."

European places
KAA Gent – UEFA Champions League group stage
Club Brugge KV – UEFA Champions League third qualifying round
RSC Anderlecht – UEFA Europa League group stage
R. Standard de Liège – UEFA Europa League third qualifying round
R. Charleroi SC – UEFA Europa League second qualifying round

The best UEFA Europa League goals
The best UEFA Europa League goals

Player of the year: Víctor Vázquez (Club Brugge KV)
Once a team-mate of Lionel Messi in the FC Barcelona academy, Vázquez managed to put his injury woes behind him to play a key part in Club Brugge's fine campaign, in which they lifted the cup, were league runners-up and reached the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals. The 28-year-old Spanish playmaker has fine technique, a wide passing range and was the starting point of many Club Brugge attacks.

One to watch: Youri Tielemans (RSC Anderlecht)
Tielemans was handed a five-year deal on his 18th birthday in May, a measure of the regard he is held in after he was named Belgium's best young player for the second successive season. "I hope next year I will not be considered a youngster any more, but judged alongside the senior players," said Tielemans, an excellent box-to-box midfielder.

Top scorer: Aleksandar Mitrović (RSC Anderlecht) – 20 goals

Relegated: Cercle Brugge KSV, K. Lierse SK

Promoted: K. Sint-Truidense VV, Oud-Heverlee Leuven

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