The 20-man shortlist has been revealed for the 2019 Golden Boy Award, with Atletico Madrid’s Joao Felix featuring as one of the leading names to make the cut.
The award is handed to a player under the age of 21 who is playing in Europe, and is voted for by a panel of sports journalists from across the continent.
Felix is one of the favourites for the award after enjoying an outstanding 2019, shining for Benfica in the latter stages of last season, before playing a leading role in Portugal’s UEFA Nations League success in June. His performances saw Atletico pay €126m for his services over the summer, making him the second-most expensive teenager in history.
Matthijs de Ligt won the coveted prize last year, and has also made the final 20 this year, as revealed by Tuttosport (relayed by Football Italia). The Dutch centre back has continued to progress over the past 12 months, captaining Ajax to the semi-finals of the Champions League before moving to Italian giants Juventus in July.
England are represented on the list by three of their brightest prospects, with Jadon Sancho, Mason Mount and Phil Foden earning recognition for their achievements over the calendar year. Sancho has continued to thrive in Germany with Borussia Dortmund, whilst Mount has impressed for both Derby and Chelsea under Frank Lampard.
Foden has struggled for game time during the early stages of this season, but still won an unprecedented domestic treble as part of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side earlier this year.
The Premier League has two further players who have made the list, with Arsenal’s Matteo Guendouzi and Everton’s Moise Kean also being named in the top 20. Both have continued to develop this year, and were rewarded by being handed their first call-ups to their respective national teams.
The winner of this year’s award will be announced on December 16 in Turin.
Here’s the shortlist in full:
Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus)
Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich)
Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan)
Ansu Fati (Barcelona)
Phil Foden (Manchester City)
Matteo Guendouzi (Arsenal)
Erling Håland (Red Bull Salzburg)
Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen)
Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid)
Dejan Joveljic (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Moise Kean (Everton)
Kang-in Lee (Valencia)
Andriy Lunin (Real Sociedad)
Danyell Malen (PSV Eindhoven)
Mason Mount (Chelsea)
Rodrygo (Real Madrid)
Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)
Vinicius Jr. (Real Madrid)
Ferran Torres (Valencia)
Nicolo Zaniolo (AS Roma)