Belgium’s Luca Brecel became the first oversees player to win the world title since Australian Neil Roberton emerged victorious 13 years ago ©Getty Images

Belgium’s Luca Brecel overcame four-time winner Mark Selby of England to become the first player from mainland Europe to win the World Snooker Championship.

Brecel withstood a late fightback from Selby to triumph 18-15 at the Crucible in English city Sheffield.

Selby became the first player to notch a 147 maximum break in a World Snooker Championship final yesterday as he clawed his way back to trail 9-8 overnight.

After falling 16-10 behind, the Englishmen dup deep again and threatened to complete a superb fightback when he got within one frame of the Belgian.

Brecel, who had lost in the first round in his previous five visits to the Crucible before this year’s tournament, responded to see off Selby’s late challenge.

After Selby missed a black off its spot, Brecel held himself together to make a break of 51 to establish a two-frame lead before knocking in a superb 112 to secure the world title and the top prize of £500,000 ($625,000/€570,000).

"It's amazing," Brecel told BBC Sport.

"[Selby is] the worst opponent to have in the final.

"He just keeps coming back, he's such a fighter and at 16-15. 

"I didn't fancy winning at all to be honest.

"I was missing balls by a mile. 

"I don't know how I did it.

"Once I got to 17, I fancied it if I got a chance to clear up, which I did.

"It's a great feeling."

Brecel, who became the youngest player to ever play at the World Snooker Championship when he completed at the age of 17 and 45 days in 2012, defeated the likes of former champions Mark Williams of Wales and Ronnie O’Sullivan of England on his way to the title.

"Snooker is a difficult sport and in the first round [this year] I could have lost to Ricky Walden - I beat him 10-9," said the 28-year-old.

"If I'd have lost that game then everybody would have said 'he's lost again in the first round' and now I'm the winner, that's the small margins in snooker, it's crazy.

"I still can't believe it."

England's Mark Selby produced a stunning 147 but came up short against Belgium's Luca Brecel at the Crucible ©Getty Images
England's Mark Selby produced a stunning 147 but came up short against Belgium's Luca Brecel at the Crucible ©Getty Images

Brecel is the first overseas player to win the world title since Australia’s Neil Robertson triumphed in 2010 and the first-ever from mainland Europe.

"It’s going to explode," said Brecel when asked what his victory would mean for European snooker.

"I was so nervous because I wanted it to happen for Belgium and Europe and now I can't wait to see what it brings, I'm so happy I did it."

Selby, winner of the title in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2021, said: "Congratulations to Luca.

"He's a great talent and a great lad with a lovely family.

"I wish him all the best.

"It was great to make a 147 at the Crucible. 

"I never thought I would do it in a final.

"It was an amazing achievement and something I will remember for rest of my life but it's not about me today, it is about Luca, he played fantastic over the two days."