Toby Alderweireld killed off ‘Spursy’ tag with clutch moment to end all clutch moments

With time running out and all hope looking lost, Royal Antwerp were about to lose the Belgian league title on the final day, but former Tottenham man Toby Alderweireld had other ideas.

We have just witnessed one of the truly great final days. With one game to play in the Belgian Pro League, three sides still had a shot at winning the league title.

Genk, Royal Antwerp and Union Saint-Gilloise were all still in the chance for the title with one game to go. While we were deprived of any final-day action in the Premier League, the Belgian Pro League more than made up for it.

Royal Antwerp headed to Genk on the final day knowing that they needed some form of result to stand a chance of winning their first league title in 66 years.

In the 89th minute, Antwerp looked dead and buried. With them trailing 2-1 to Genk and Union beating Club Brugge, all hope seemed lost.

The first twist in the tale came in the Union game as they conceded a 93rd minute to Brugge, meaning that Antwerp now just needed a point to clinch the title away from Genk.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man. With the seconds agonisingly ticking down on the clock, Antwerp were desperately scrambling to get the ball forward, but Genk were stood strong.

It was always going to take a moment of genius to clinch the title at this point. With just two and a half minutes of stoppage time left, Alderweireld struck one of the sweetest piledrivers you are ever going to see.

With seven Genk defenders behind the ball, Alderweireld finds an opening from the edge of the box and the rest is history. You can’t write scripts like these.

What makes the moment even sweeter for Alderweireld is that this is his hometown club. He always dreamed of a romantic return at the end of his career and as far as fairytale endings go, they don’t get much better than that.

Thanks to his last-minute heroics and Union losing on the final day, Antwerp claimed their first league title since 1956–57 by a single point.

“It is the most beautiful moment of my career,” Alderweireld said via Nieuws Blad. “I was lucky enough to play a lot of great games. I have been in the Champions League final. There was the semi-final with the Red Devils at the World Cup in Russia. But this is different. Better.

“When I was able to go to Antwerp, I called several people from football. Nine out of ten said I shouldn’t do it. The club is not ready, those people thought. I did it anyway, out of love. And now look.

“This is for the city. For the club. For my friends. For my family. For my parents. They have sacrificed a lot for me since I was fifteen. This is the reward.

“Something legendary. It has been 66 years since Antwerp became champion. It is the first double in the club’s history. I noticed that the outside world didn’t want us to. That was extra motivation. Fantastic.”

By Ben Stewart

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