Morocco winger Tarik Tissoudali says he is delighted to win the Ebony Shoe, which is awarded to Belgium's best African player or player of African descent.
Tissoudali also saw off Anderlecht's Dutch youth international Joshua Zirkzee, who has a Nigerian mother, Brugge's Wales international Rabbi Matondo, who has DR Congo parentage, and club-mate Michael Ngadeu of Cameroon.
"I must thank everyone at Gent for helping me reach this level because I couldn't have achieved a reward like this alone," he said.
"One footballer cannot do everything because it takes a team to win."
The annual Ebony Shoe jury is composed of the coaches of league clubs, the Belgian national team manager, sports journalists, and one or more honorary jurors.
Tissoudali becomes the second Moroccan after three-time winner Mbark Boussoufa to win the award since it started in 1992.
He scored 27 goals in 51 appearances for Gent in all competitions this season, which included lifting the 2022 Belgian Cup in April.
Three weeks prior to that win over Anderlecht in the final he scored in both legs as the Atlas Lions booked their spot for their sixth World Cup finals, eliminating DR Congo 5-2 on aggregate.
"I feel very excited to be honoured and I hope to continue to do well in the colours of my club and country," he added.
Netherlands-born Tissoudali is the third Gent player to claim the prize after Egypt striker Mido in 2001 and Boussoufa's 2006 success.
"Dribbling and goals were Tarik's trademark this season: he scored 21 times in the Jupiler Pro League and turned out to be one of the strongholds of the team," Gent wrote on their website.
Last year's winner Onuachu was the first Nigerian to claim the award since Celestine Babayaro's success in 1996 while he was playing for Anderlecht.
In the past the award has been won by the likes of Belgium internationals Youri Tielemans, Vincent Kompany, Romelu Lukaku and Marouane Fellaini and Nigeria's Daniel Amokachi.
Past Ebony Shoe winners:
- 2021 Paul Onuachu (Nigeria and Genk)
- 2020 Dieumerci Mbokani (DR Congo and Antwerp)
- 2019 Mbwana Samatta (Tanzania and Genk)
- 2018 Anthony Limbombe (Belgium/DR Congo and Club Brugge)
- 2017 Youri Tielemans (Belgium/DR Congo and Anderlecht)
- 2016 Sofiane Hanni (Algeria and Mechelen)
- 2015 Neeskens Kebano (DR Congo and Charleroi)
- 2014 Michy Batshuayi (Belgium/DR Congo and Standard Liege)
- 2013 Mbaye Leye (Senegal and Zulte Waregem)
- 2012 Dieumerci Mbokani (DR Congo and Anderlecht)
- 2011 Romelu Lukaku (Belgium/DR Congo and Anderlecht)
- 2010 Mbark Boussoufa (Morocco and Anderlecht)
- 2009 Mbark Boussoufa (Morocco and Anderlecht)
- 2008 Marouane Fellaini (Belgium/Morocco and Standard Liege)
- 2007 Mohammed Tchite (Burundi and Anderlecht)
- 2006 Mbark Boussoufa (Morocco and Gent)
- 2005 Vincent Kompany (Belgium/DR Congo and Anderlecht)
- 2004 Vincent Kompany (Belgium/DR Congo and Anderlecht)
- 2003 Aruna Dindane (Ivory Coast and Anderlecht)
- 2002 Moumouni Dagano (Burkina Faso and Genk)
- 2001 Mido (Egypt and Gent)
- 2000 Herve Nzelo-Lembi (DR Congo and Club Brugge)
- 1999 Souleymane Oulare (Guinea and Genk)
- 1998 Eric Addo (Ghana and Club Brugge)
- 1997 Emile Mpenza (Belgium/DR Congo and Mouscron)
- 1996 Celestine Babayaro (Nigeria and Anderlecht)
- 1995 Godwin Okpara (Nigeria and Eendracht Aalst)
- 1994 Daniel Amokachi (Nigeria and Club Brugge)
- 1993 Victor Ikpeba (Nigeria and RFC Liege)
- 1992 Daniel Amokachi (Nigeria and Club Brugge)