Luca Brecel: who is World Snooker Champion? Girlfriend, net worth, height and ranking of Crucible winner

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Luca Brecel beat Mark Selby to lift trophy at World Snooker Championship 2023

Until three weeks ago, Luca Brecel had not won a single match at The Crucible. He is now the World Snooker Championship winner after the Belgian survived a late fight-back from fellow finalist Mark Selby to become the first player from mainland Europe to win the world championship.

Leading 9-8 overnight, Brecel won six of the eight frames in Monday’s afternoon session, moving to 15-10. Selby soon fought back however and clawed his way to 16-15 and it soon felt like an inevitability that Brecel would wain. Yet the Belgian did not give up and he closed the final out with a break of 112 to fulfil a promise he had made to himself as a young boy.

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Speaking after his win, the 28-year-old said; “I was so nervous because I wanted it to happen for Europe and for Belgium. I can’t wait to see what happens now.” He also said “This has been a crazy week, no practice, just partying. It shouldn’t be legal!”

Here is all you ned to know about snooker’s new superstar...

Who is Luca Brecel?

Nicknamed ‘the Belgian Bullet’, Luca Brecel was born in 1995 in Dilsen-Stokkem and first started playing snooker when he was nine, scoring his first competitive century break at 12. In 2009, he became the youngest European U-19 champion at 14 years of age and a year later, Brecel had a 4-1 victory over seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry in an exhibition game in Bruges. The snooker star stands at 5ft 10in tall, according to ABTC although reports of his height have varied from source to source.

Brecel with his girlfriend, Laura (centre right) and his parentsBrecel with his girlfriend, Laura (centre right) and his parents
Brecel with his girlfriend, Laura (centre right) and his parents | Getty Images

Brecel’s professional career

The Belgian Bullet turned professional in 2011 and has since gone on to win three ranking tournaments as well as the Championship League in 2019/20 season and China Championship in 2017. He became the first player from mainland Europe to win a ranking event as he won the 2017 China Championship and his recent win in Sheffield makes him the first from the continent to win the World Championship.

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Brecel won the 2021 Scottish Open, defeating John Higgins 9-5 in the final after losing to Zhao Xintong in the 2021 UK Championship final a week before. Brecel first reached the top 16 of the world rankings in 2017 and he is now ranked number two in the world following his success at The Crucible. He is best known for his fluent and attacking style of play, having been praised for his natural talent and ability to reach the game.

Who is Luca Brecel’s girlfriend?

Brecel is currently in a relationship with Laura Vanoverberghe, 24, and the couple started dating earlier this year. Vanoverberghe posted on her social media that she was making the trip to watch Brecel in the final in person and this trip involved her leaving her home country for the first time. The Sun reported that Brecel met Vanoverberghe through snooker and that the now world champion has credited Laura with his happiness away from the table. It is believed that the pair live together back in Belgium.

Brecel was previously in a relationship with the tennis and volleyball player Gaelle Dept.

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