Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi will go up against Atletico Madrid’s new €126 million man Joao Felix in the battle to win the 2019 Golden Boy award after Italian newspaper Tuttosport released their list of 80 nominees.
United States international Tim Weah has also made the list following an impressive season on loan at Celtic. Matthijs de Ligt, who won the award in 2018, has been nominated but cannot retain the award.
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Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe had won the honour in 2017, but was not nominated in the final five the following season despite being eligible and Massimo Franchi, who oversees the award, told ESPN FC at the time: “The philosophy is to launch one new face each year.”
Despite former Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri receiving criticism for his failure to hand Hudson-Odoi regular game time, the England international is in contention for the award handed to the best player under the age of 21.
Meanwhile, Felix, who has been dubbed the “new Cristiano Ronaldo“ in some quarters could achieve something his compatriot never did and win the Golden Boy award.
Hudson-Odoi’s teammates Ethan Ampadu, Mason Mount, Marc Guehi and Dujon Sterling were also in contention, while Manchester United duo Tahith Chong and Diogo Dalot also made the list.
Real Madrid’s Brahim Diaz, Anrdiy Lunin and Rodrygo are in with a chance as are Barcelona pair Lazar Carevic and Ricard Puig. Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden also received a nomination.
The award was first handed out in 2003 to Ajax’s Rafael van der Vaart with Wayne Rooney receiving the honour 12 months later. Lionel Messi got his hands on it in 2005.
Other past winners include Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli, Paul Pogba and Raheem Sterling.