Vangelis Pavlidis and Luuk de Jong winners of the Willy van der Kuijlen Trophy 2023/24

Vangelis Pavlidis and Luuk de Jong are the winners of the Willy van der Kuijlen Trophy for the 2023/24 season. Both the AZ and PSV strikers scored 29 league goals, making them joint top scorers of the Eredivisie. The award will be presented to both players at the Eredivisie Awards.

Vangelis Pavlidis

Vangelis Pavlidis played in all 34 matches for AZ this season. The 25-year-old Greek striker scored 29 goals: sixteen with his right foot, ten with his left, and three headers. Most of his goals were scored in the first half of the season. Pavlidis made history by scoring in every Eredivisie match during the first ten rounds.

After just fifteen rounds, the AZ striker, along with Santiago Giménez, had already scored 18 goals. It's no surprise that Pavlidis was named Eredivisie Player of the Month for both August and October. He continued his scoring streak in the second half of the season, finding the net in 10 of the 17 matches. Overall, Pavlidis scored in 24 of the 34 matches this season.

This marks the sixth time an AZ player has become the Eredivisie top scorer, following Kees Kist (twice), Mounir El Hamdaoui, Vincent Janssen, and Alireza Jahanbakhsh. Only Kees Kist (34 goals in 1978/79 and 29 goals in 1981/82) scored more goals than Pavlidis. Additionally, Pavlidis is the fourth Greek top scorer in Eredivisie history and the third Greek in the last four seasons (following Georgios Giakoumakis and Tasos Douvikas).

Luuk de Jong

Luuk de Jong also played in all 34 matches this season. The 33-year-old PSV captain reached 29 goals, tying with Pavlidis, by scoring twice in the final round. Remarkably, De Jong's goals were almost evenly distributed between his right foot (10), left foot (9), and headers (10). He achieved two hat-tricks: against Excelsior on January 13 and PEC Zwolle on February 24. Thanks to his hat-trick in Zwolle, De Jong won the Eredivisie Player of the Month award for February.

De Jong was previously the top scorer of the Eredivisie in the 2018/19 season (with 28 goals) and now becomes the seventeenth Eredivisie player to win multiple top scorer titles. This century, only Mateja Kezman (3) and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (2) have achieved this feat. De Jong is the 21st top scorer from PSV, bringing the club level with Ajax in this regard (21 top scorers each). Additionally, De Jong officially becomes the oldest top scorer in Eredivisie history, at 33 years and 266 days old, surpassing Ruud Geels who was 32 years and 313 days old in the 1980/81 season.

Seventh time

Excluding the 2019/20 season (COVID 19), this is the seventh time in Eredivisie history that two players have shared the top scorer title. Last year, Xavi Simons and Tasos Douvikas both scored 19 goals to share the honor. Both Vangelis Pavlidis and Luuk de Jong will receive the Willy van der Kuijlen Trophy at the Eredivisie Awards. This awards show will be broadcast live on ESPN and YouTube on Monday, September 2, 2024.

The trophy is named after Willy van der Kuijlen, the all-time Eredivisie top scorer with 311 goals. Georgios Giakoumakis won the inaugural edition in 2021, followed by Sébastien Haller in 2022, and Tasos Douvikas and Xavi Simons in 2023.

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