The Bulgarian roasted the Belgian in the round-robin phase, but found it far tougher to rip through his opponent in a final packed with nerves, drama and excitement.
“It’s been an amazing week for me,” Dimitrov said on court afterwards.
“It’s such an honour to be here and this week has been one of the best weeks I’ve ever had.”
The pre-tournament buzz focused on a potential showdown between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, but their stand-ins proved willing headline acts – producing a match that would have left even the game’s two biggest stars purring.
Dimitrov needed five championship points to get over the line as an untimely wobble invited Goffin back into the final set.
But just as the 26-year-old flirted with a meltdown, Goffin pushed a makeable volley into the net to hand him an emotional triumph and the biggest title of his career.
Goffin became only the sixth man in history to beat Nadal and Federer at the same event, and while he could not quite sign off with the title, his form is a huge boost ahead of Belgium’s Davis Cup final with France next weekend.