AFC Ajax center-back and captain, Matthijs de Ligt, on Friday became the youngest person to be crowned best player in the Dutch soccer league at the age of 19.
De Ligt was awarded Golden Boot award by newspaper De Telegraaf.
“I’m very proud of this award,” the young defender said.
Ajax claimed the domestic league and cup double this season, having also reached the UEFA Champions League semifinals.
“I still have my treble with the Golden Boot. A slightly different treble, but I’m very happy with it,” De Ligt added.
The race for the award was tight until the last gasp of the season between De Ligt and PSV Eindhoven’s striker Luuk de Jong, but Ajax’s defender's top performance in his last game on Wednesday earned him the award.
Ajax routed host De Graafschap 4-1 to ensure their 34th-title win, while second-placed Eindhoven topped Heracles Almelo 3-1.
De Jong, 28, is the joint Eredivisie top scorer with 28 goals, along with Ajax’s Dusan Tadic who notched a brace in the last game to level up with Eindhoven’s forward.
As a result, Luuk de Jong will be awarded the Silver Boot, while the 30-year-old Tadic will be given the Bronze Boot, as the second and third best players of the season, respectively.
Big names in Dutch soccer who have been awarded the Golden Boot by the De Telegraaf include the legend Johan Cruyff, as well as Frank Rijkaard, Ronald Koeman, Romario, Ronald de Boer and Luis Suarez, among others.
“It's a good list of names. The fact that they have won this award is an additional motivation for me to also get everything possible in my career,” De Ligt said.
The awards are set to be delivered to the winners in a ceremony scheduled for September, where De Ligt will be accompanying his outgoing teammate Frenkie de Jong, who won the Talent of The Year award.
Frenkie de Jong is set to join La Liga powerhouse, FC Barcelona, this summer, a club to which De Ligt is reportedly also pondering a move.
De Ligt has also won the 2018 Golden Boy award given to most impressive U21 player in Europe.
In related news, Ajax posted to its Twitter account that its talented winger Hakim Ziyech of Morocco has been named the Player of The Year for the second year in a row. EFE