These are the 20 best young soccer players on the planet right now

Jadon Sancho is one of the favorites for this year’s award.

The “Golden Boy” award, established by Italian sports newspaper Tuttosport in 2003, is the prize given to the best footballer under the age of 21 in Europe each year.Its previous winners include Lionel Messi, Wayne Rooney, and most recently Matthijs de Ligt. This year’s winner will be announced in December. The shortlist has been cut down to a final 20, all of whom are listed below.Read more of our soccer coverage here.Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The “Golden Boy” award is one of the most prestigious individual prizes in European football.

The award was established by Italian sports newspaper Tuttosport in 2003 and voted for by journalists and the public. It is presented to the player under the age of 21 adjudged to have had the most impressive calendar year.

Previous winners include Lionel Messi, Wayne Rooney, and most recently, Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt, who scooped the award in 2018.

Advertisements

Read more: 2 teenage soccer stars who once played together as children could soon become the sport’s biggest rivals since Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

The young Juventus star is up for the coveted trophy, with the winner announced in December. However, he faces serious competition if he is to become the only player to win it twice in a row.

Jadon Sancho, Joao Felix, and Vinicius Junior are three of the star-studded names to make the final 20.

Keep scrolling for the updated list.

Alphonso Davies — FC Bayern Munich/Canada

Age: 18

Position: Winger

Davies has begun to establish himself as a regular feature at Bayern Munich this season, making four appearances and scoring one goal.

Matthijs de Ligt — Juventus/Netherlands

Age: 20

Position: Defender

Last year’s winner, De Ligt’s impressive 2018/19 campaign with Ajax earned him an $84.3 million move to Juventus in the summer, where he’s since made five appearances. 

Gianluigi Donnarumma — AC Milan/Italy

Age: 20

Position: Goalkeeper

It’s hard to believe Gianluigi Donnarumma is just 20, given as he has already made 170 appearances for AC Milan, and 14 for Italy. 

Phil Foden — Manchester City/EnglandManchester City’s Phill Foden celebrates his goal against Tottenham during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad stadium in Manchester, England, Saturday, April 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Age: 19

Position: Midfielder

Pep Guardiola described Phil Foden as the “most talented player” he’s ever seen, according to the BBC, and the Spaniard has worked with Lionel Messi. Quite the compliment. 

Matteo Guendouzi — Arsenal/France

Age: 20

Position: Midfielder

Guendouzi is promising the be the midfield general Arsenal have craved since the departure of Patrick Vieira back in 2005, having already become a regular and important figure in Unai Emery’s new-look side. 

Erling Braut Haland — Red Bull Salzburg/Norway

Age: 19

Position: Striker

Erling Braut Håland, son of former Manchester City defender Alf-Inge Håland, has already scored 17 goals in 10 games this season, including four hat-tricks.

Kai Havertz — Bayer Leverkusen/Germany

Age: 20

Position: Midfielder

His country’s next big thing, Havertz has already been hailed as “world-class” by ex-Germany international Mattias Sammer, as well as “exceptional” by current Mannschaft coach Joachim Low, according to Bundesliga.com.

Joao Felix — Atletico Madrid/Portugal

Age: 19

Position: Forward

The world’s most expensive teenager ever — Joao Felix cost Atletico Madrid $137 million from Benfica this summer. Tipped as Portuguese soccer’s biggest talent since Cristiano Ronaldo however, it’ll be hoping he will prove to be worth the money. 

Dejan Joveljic — Eintracht Frankfurt/Serbia

Age: 20

Position: Striker

Eintracht Frankfurt will be hoping summer signing Joveljic, who scored 14 times for Red Star Belgrade last season, can fill the boots of Luka Jovic this season after his transfer to Real Madrid. 

Moise Kean — Everton FC/Italy

Age: 19

Position: Striker

Juventus’ loss was Everton’s gain this summer after Marco Silva’s side secured the signature of the promising Italian for $32.8 million. He scored seven times in 17 appearances last season. 

Lee Kang-in — Valencia CF/South Korea

Age: 18

Position: Winger

Lee Kang-in was the star of the U20 World Cup earlier this year, winning the tournament’s best player award — the “Golden Ball” — as South Korea finished as runners up to Ukraine. 

Andriy Lunin — Real Valladolid/Ukraine

Age: 20

Position: Goalkeeper

Lunin was also a star of the U20 World Cup like Kang-in. The Real Madrid loanee was awarded the Golden Glove as the tournament’s best shot stopper, keeping three clean sheets to help Ukraine won the competition. 

Donyell Malen — PSV Eindhoven/Netherlands

Age: 20

Position: Winger

Malen has scored 11 goals for club and country already this term, five of which came in a single game against SBV Vitesse last month. 

Mason Mount — Chelsea FC/England

Age: 20

Position: Midfielder

After spending last season on-loan with Derby County, Mount followed new Chelsea boss Frank Lampard back to Stamford Bridge and has since been a star for his boyhood club, scoring three times in nine games. 

Rodrygo — Real Madrid/Brazil

Age: 18

Position: Winger

Rodrygo made quite the mark on his Real Madrid debut last month when he came off the bench to score a scorcher in a 2-0 win over Osasuna. Zinedine Zidane will be hoping for plenty more of the same in the future from his $49.3 million talent. 

Jadon Sancho — Borussia Dortmund/England

Age: 19

Position: Winger

Sancho was Europe’s top provider last season with 23 assists, and he’s already added another six this term, as well as four goals in what’s been a blistering start to the new campaign. 

Ferran Torres — Valencia CF/Spain

Age: 19

Position: Winger

Torres is already en route to becoming a Valencia great, having been with the club since he was just six, and in the first team since he was only 17. He’s since made 59 appearances, and scored three goals. 

Vinicius Junior — Real Madrid/Brazil

Age: 19

Position: Winger/striker

The world’s most decorated soccer player, Dani Alves, recently told Business Insider he believes Vinicius Jr is the best young talent in the game. 

Nicolo Zaniolo — AS Roma/Italy

Age: 20

Position: Midfielder

Nicolo Zaniolo told The Guardian he aims to be as good as AS Roma and Italy icon Francesco Totti one day. Lofty ambitions, but his debut season, in which he scored six goals and set up two, is a sign of bigger things to come. 

Ansu Fati — FC Barcelona/Guinea Bissau

Age: 16

Position: Midfielder

The youngest nominee this year, 16-year-old Fati has exploded onto the scene this season with FC Barcelona, scoring twice and providing one assist in just five games, four of which were as a substitute. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Read More

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *