Suárez named Belgian player of the year

RSC Anderlecht's Matías Suárez said being named Belgium's player of 2011 was a step towards international honours with Argentina after edging out Axel Witsel and Thibaut Courtois.

Matías Suárez glides between two Beerschot defenders in October
Matías Suárez glides between two Beerschot defenders in October ©Getty Images

RSC Anderlecht forward Matías Suárez has been named player of the year in Belgium after an impressive start to the season.

The 23-year-old failed to pick up a point in the first part of voting, held in the summer, but a haul of 230 in the second earned him the prize ahead of Axel Witsel (211) and Thibaut Courtois (193). Suárez was, of course, aided by the fact those players departed for SL Benfica and Chelsea FC, respectively, in July and were ineligible for the second vote.

"I did not expect to win this Golden Boot," the Argentinian, who assumes the mantle from former club-mate Mbark Boussoufa, said at the gala in Ostend. "The Belgian league has a lot of good, strong players and this is a wonderful honour for me. I hope to play for Argentina one day, and winning this Golden Boot is a step towards achieving that."

Suárez has caught the eye in his fourth season at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium, scoring seven goals in 16 First League outings to help Anderlecht top the Belgian standings. He has also struck seven in six games in the UEFA Europa League, and will hope to continue that form when Les Mauves et Blancs face AZ Alkmaar in the round of 32, beginning in the Netherlands on 16 February.

Other awards
Goal of the year – Benjamin De Ceulaer (KSC Lokeren OV) v Club Brugge KV, 18 September
Fair play – Olivier Renard (KV Mechelen)
Lifetime achievement – Rik De Saedeleer (former television commentator)