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Golden Boy 2023 finalists list – Bellingham nominated for greatest youth award

The Golden Boy 2023 finalists list is finally here. The Italian newspaper Tuttosport, creator of the award, has unveiled the list of the most promising 25 players aged under 21 playing in Europe. Football Benchmark selected the 20 best players based on statistics, and five additional players have been selected as wild cards.

Let’s take a look at the players with the biggest chance to win the award and succeed Gavi!

Photo by Icon Sport

Golden Boy 2023 finalists list

The 25 players in the list are the following:

  • Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid)
  • Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munchen)
  • Xavi Simons (RB Leipzig)
  • Antonio Silva (SL Benfica)
  • Alejandro Baldé (FC Barcelona)
  • Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen)
  • Benjamin Sesko (RB Leipzig)
  • Giorgio Scalvini (Atalanta)
  • Rasmus Hojlund (Manchester United)
  • Levi Colwill (Chelsea)
  • Johan Bakayoko (PSV)
  • Milos Kerkez (Bournemouth)
  • Arthur Vermeeren (Antwerp)
  • Evan Ferguson (Brighton & Hove Albion)
  • Lucas Gourna-Douath (RB Salzburg)
  • Warren Zaïre-Emery (Paris Saint-Germain)
  • Ousmane Diomandé (Sporting CP)
  • Arnau Martinez (Girona)
  • Mathys Tel (Bayern Munchen)
  • Andy Diouf (RC Lens)
  • Arda Guler (Real Madrid)
  • Bilal El Khannouss (KRC Genk)
  • Martin Baturina (Dinamo Zagreb)
  • João Neves (SL Benfica)
  • Lamine Yamal (FC Barcelona)

Bayern Munich, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and SL Benfica are the four clubs with more than one player in this list. Surprisingly enough, both representatives of Real Madrid were purchased this summer. Lamine Yamal, at only 16 years of age, is the youngest player in this list, and there is no doubt that he will be included on this list for a few more years.

Golden Boy 2023: Notable candidates

Bellingham high on the Golden Boy 2023 finalists list.
Photo by Icon Sport

Favourite: Jude Bellingham

The English midfielder was transferred from Borussia Dortmund to Real Madrid this summer for a fee that could potentially reach €133m. And it is safe to say that he has adapted quite fast, becoming the key player of the team while Vinicius Jr. was injured. Bellingham was named La Liga’s Player of the Month in August thanks to his four goals and one assist.

During his first four games for Real Madrid, he scored in each and every one of them, including a last-gasp winner against Union Berlin on UCL matchday one. Such a start to life at Real Madrid is tremendous for any player, but even more so for a 20 year-old midfielder discovering the biggest club in the world. His celebration is already iconic too, and there is no doubt that his recent performances will have a high impact on voters’ decision.

Considering Bellingham’s amazing start to the season, it is quite likely that he will win the award according to current odds. And if that was to happen, he would be the third Englishman to win this award after Wayne Rooney (2004) and Raheem Sterling (2014). Surprisingly enough, he would become the first player to win the award while playing for Los Blancos.

Jamal Musiala MVP
Photo by Icon sport.

Close contender: Jamal Musiala

For the last two seasons, Camavinga, Bellingham and Musiala have shared the #2, #3 and #4 spots. With Camavinga now being ineligible, it is not a surprise to see Musiala cast as one of the main candidates for this season’s Golden Boy award. His crucial goal against Köln in the 89th minute of the last game of 2022/23 saw Bayern Munchen clinch their 10th Bundesliga title in a row.

Photo by Icon Sport

Dark Horse: Alejandro Baldé

Spanish left-back Baldé has been the revelation of this season so far, becoming the natural successor to Jordi Alba with both Barcelona and the Spanish National Team. Aged only 19, Alejandro Baldé will still be eligible for next season’s Golden Boy if he does not win this season. Should he win, he would be the third player from FC Barcelona to win the award after Pedri (2021) and Gavi (2022).

Golden Boy 2023: When is the winner announced?

The winner will be selected by an international jury composed of 50 journalists from all over Europe. The winner will be announced during a press conference in November, and the award will be given on 4 December in Torino, Italy.

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