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Ballon d'Or 2019: De Ligt beats Sancho, Joao Felix

Ballon d'Or 2019: De Ligt beats Sancho, Joao Felix to Kopa Trophy

December 2, 2019 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
A new prince has been crowned!

Former Ajax prodigy Mattjias de Ligt has been adjudged the winner of the 2019 Kopa Trophy at this year's Ballon d'Or gala. The ceremony which was held at the Theatre du Chatelet in France capital Paris saw the 19-year-old Juventus center-back beating Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho as well as Atletico Madrid's club-record signing Joao Felix to be named the best Under-21 player in the world.

De Ligt succeeded the first-ever recipient of the award, Kylian Mbappe, following a stellar 2017/2018 campaign with Ajax in the Dutch Eredevisie and most notably the UEFA Champions League. Leading as the skipper of the Amsterdam club, the teenage sensation and his teammates marched against all odds to the semi-final of the European tournament and were only denied progress to the final at the death in the penultimate clash with Tottenham Hotspur.

Aside his club duties, De Ligt was also an instrumental figure at the back for Netherlands in their impressive UEFA Nations League run which was climaxed with a final defeat to Portugal.

The other prodigies who competed in the awards category include Samuel Chukwueze, Joao Felix, Matteo Guendouzi, Kai Havertz, Vinicius Junior, Moise Kean, Lee Kang-in, Andriy Luni and Jadon Sancho.

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