Luca “Belgian Bullet” Brecel is the new world snooker champion


The Belgian beat Englishman Mark Selby in the World Cup final. No player from the European continent had so far achieved such a performance at the highest level of a snooker tournament.

Born on March 8, 1995, in Dilsen-Stokkem, not far from Maasmechelen in the province of Limburg, Luca Brecel has been a professional snooker player since 2011. Rather precocious, he was the youngest player in history to qualify for the final draw of a World Cup at the age of 16. But in the lair of the Crucible Theater in Sheffield (United Kingdom), a true temple of discipline, at each of his appearances, he was eliminated in the first round.

Refusing to put pressure on himself this year, the Belgian preferred to go and drink pints of beer with his friends rather than subjecting himself to long training sessions like most other competitors. To much avail!

The man nicknamed The Belgian Bullet on the circuit eliminated the Welshman Mark Williams (three-time world champion) in the round of 16 before going for the scalp of the discipline’s living legend, the Englishman Ronnie O 'Sullivan, seven-time world champion. In the semi-finals, Luca Brecel came very close to elimination against Si Jiahui, a young Chinese prodigy barely 20 years old. Led 14-5, he made a fantastic comeback to win 17-15.

In the final, the Limburger did not deviate from his way of playing despite the stakes. With his characteristic “all or nothing” style, he placed himself in a favourable position (10-15) before the last session against the Englishman Mark Selby, quadruple world champion. The latter then won a few frames in a row, making the suspense rise to unseen levels. But Luca Brecel was able to find the necessary resources to pocket the remaining three frames that he needed to win and write snooker history.

A Belgian at the world summit of snooker, that's historical!