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20 finalists for 2019 Golden Boy award revealed

The final 20 candidates for the 2019 Golden Boy award revealed

October 15, 2019 By Ali M.
De Ligt is one of 20 players vying for the award, but the Juve defender will face stiff competition to defend his title.

The final candidates for this year’s Golden Boy award, a prize given out by Tuttosport to the best player under the age of 21 in Europe’s top-flight leagues in a calendar year, have been announced, with 20 names, in particular, being shortlisted.

Yes, 20 of the most promising players plying their trade in Europe will battle it out for this coveted prize. Some of the biggest names in world football were recipients of Tuttosport’s 16-year-running prize, including the likes of Lionel Messi, Wayne Rooney, Raheem Sterling, and Kylian Mbappe.

Matthijs de Ligt is the most recent recipient of the Golden Boy award, winning the 2018 edition, and has the chance to defend his crown after being nominated once more. The Dutchman secured a mega-money move to Juventus after his stellar 2018/19 campaign with Ajax in which he led them to the Eredivisie title and the Champions League semi-finals. However, it should be noted that no player has won this award twice.

The Bianconeri center-back hasn’t begun life in Turin extremely well and will thus face stiff competition from the other candidates from the 20-man shortlist. Jadon Sancho is one of those players and can easily be tipped as the favorite after emerging as one of the best teenagers in the world.

The Englishman established himself as a deadly playmaker last season, playing a crucial role in Dortmund’s 2018/19 season in which they narrowly missed out on the Bundesliga title. He has hit the ground running this season as no player in the German top-flight has more assists than the 19-year-old (5).

Joao Felix is another worthy competitor. The Portuguese starlet garnered rave reviews in the Primeira Liga before sealing a whopping $130M move to Atletico. While consistency still evades him, he has shown what he can do when at his best and that has left many impressed.

Vinicius Jr. receives a nod but will face an uphill battle to win this prize. The likes of Mason Mount, Erling Braut Haaland, and Ansu Fati have also been nominated but their impressive start to the campaign might not be enough.

Matteo Guendouzi and Phil Foden, two established Premier League talents, make the list as well as PSV starlet and Barca target Donyell Malen, who has 16 goals in 17 appearances this season. Check out the nominees in full below.

  1. Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus, Holland)

  2. Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich, Canada)

  3. Gianluigi Donnarumma (Milan, Italy)

  4. Ansu Fati (Barcelona, Spain)

  5. Philip Foden (Man City, England)

  6. Matteo Guendozi (Arsenal, France)

  7. Erling Haland (RB Salzburg, Norway)

  8. Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany)

  9. Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid, Portugal)

  10. Dejan Joveljic (Eintracht Frankfurt, Serbia) 

  11. Moise Kean (Everton, Italy)

  12. Kang-in Lee (Valencia, South Korea)

  13. Andrij Oleksijovyc (Valladolid, Ukraine)

  14. Danyell Malen (PSV Eindhoven, Netherlands)

  15. Mason Mount (Chelsea, England)

  16. Rodrygo (Real Madrid, Brazil)

  17. Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund, England)

  18. Ferran Torres (Valencia, Spain)

  19. Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid, Brazil)

  20. Nicolò Zaniolo (Roma, Italy)


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