While Thomas Buffel has been turning heads in Holland for a couple of years now, it finally appears that his fellow Belgians are ready to embrace his talents. After recent praise from Enzo Scifo – ‘a breath of fresh air for the national team’ – it looks like Buffel is breaking through back home, with nominations for three top awards: Sports Personality of the Year, Best Belgian Footballer Abroad and Rookie of the Year.

After picking up the Best Player in the First Division award for the last two years in Holland, in his own country Buffel has now been nominated for a Het Laatste Nieuws Golden Boot. The player has a shot at Best Belgian Footballer Abroad, which is to be announced 15 January. Buffel is also nominated for the Belgian Sports Gala’s Rookie of the Year category. The winner will be announced 20 December. In the race for sports personality of the year Buffel faces stiff competition from twenty-nine other candidates. On the football side they include Wesley Sonck, Danny Boffin, Mark Wilmots and Genk trainer Sef Vergoossen. Tennis big-shots Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin and cyclists Tom Boonen, Mario De Clercq, Sven Nys, Robbie McEwen and Johan Museeuw are also nominated. The Feyenoorder is proud of the sudden admiration from his homeland. ‘I was out the picture for a couple of years there because I went to Feyenoord at such a young age, but it’s very nice to get some respect.’

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Feyenoord Business CLub