Football News

Current holder De Ligt and ‘the Ronaldo-stopper’ make 2019 Golden Boy longlist

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 20:18, 16 June 2019 | Updated: 15:23, 27 November 2019

Tuttosport have revealed their 100-man longlist for the 2019 Golden Boy award, with current holder Matthijs de Ligt among those named.

It remains to be seen whether De Ligt successfully defends his title as unlike the Ballon d’Or, which is handed out by France Football magazine, there hasn’t been a back-to-back winner since the award was inaugurated in 2003.

What is the Golden Boy award? Five things to know

  • Created by Italian newspaper Tuttosport in 2003.
  • Given to a footballer aged under 21 perceived to have been the best during a calendar year.
  • Rafael van der Vaart was the inaugural winner and compatriot Matthijs de Ligt is the present holder.
  • No fewer than six Eredivisie-based players are looking to succeed Ajax captain De Ligt.
  • Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho is among the heavy favourites.

Kylian Mbappé, who De Ligt succeeded, was among the 2018 nominees but didn’t make the final five despite playing a pivotal role in France winning a second World Cup that summer.

A who’s who of future stars have claimed the prize since Rafael van der Vaart was named the first winner. Wayne Rooney, Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabregas and Sergio Aguero were the Dutchman’s immediate four successors.

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Among the favourites in 2019 are Borussia Dortmund and England winger Jadon Sancho and midfielder Kai Havertz, who represents Bayer Leverkusen and Germany.

De Ligt was the second Eredivisie-based player to win, after Van der Vaart, and there are no fewer than six players shortlisted from the Dutch top division including his Ajax teammate Jurgen Ekkelenkamp, who made headlines following a 90th-minute tactical foul on Cristiano Ronaldo in Ajax’s first-leg quarter-final 1-1 draw against Juventus.

Every 2019 Golden Boy longlist entrant based in the Premier League

Arsenal (x4) Charlie Gilmour (released), Mattéo Guendouzi, Joe Willock, Eddie Nketiah

Chelsea (x5) Ethan Ampadu, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Marc Guehi, Mason Mount, Dujon Sterling

Liverpool (x3) Rhian Brewster, Kamil Grabara, Benjamin Woodburn

Man City (x3) Phil Foden, Benjamín Antonio Garre, Lorenzo Gonzalez

Man Utd (x2) Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes

Tottenham (x2) Tashan Oakley-Boothe, Oliver Skipp

Watford Cucho Hernández

West Ham Mésaque Djú

Wolves Morgan Gibbs-White

The 2019 Golden Boy longlist can be viewed in full here.