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European Golden Boy: Trent Alexander-Arnold makes the cut, Kylian Mbappe misses out

Written by: Neil Talnikar

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The winner of the accolade will be announced on 17th December 2018.

In what came as a shock from the announcement of top five nominees for the Golden Boy award 2018, Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe was excluded from the shortlist. Mbappe, who stunned the world with his amazing display for France in the FIFA World Cup in Russia, surprisingly missed a chance to win the award this year.

The annual award, which was founded by Italian newspaper Tuttosport in, is famously presented to the best player under the age of 21, playing in the European top-tier leagues. Established in 2003, Rafael van der Vaart- the then Ajax Amsterdam youngster, was the very first winner of the award.

Followed by the Dutchman, many of the current top players in Europe such as Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli, Isco, Anthony Martial etc have won the prestigious award.



Interestingly, Mbappe, too, was the winner of the award last year but the 19-year-old couldn’t find his luck in becoming the first ever player to win the Golden Boy award for consecutive years. Originally, the former AS Monaco star was a part of the 40-man longlist but couldn’t make it further.

The Frenchman’s omission from the five-man shortlist came as a surprise, especially since he has been in a top form during the calendar year and also won the Young Player of the Tournament in Russia in the summer.

Meanwhile, Liverpool’s youth sensation Trent Alexander-Arnold made the final five list. Trent, who turned 20 in October, had an exceptional year too as he featured in the Reds’ starting lineup in the final of the UEFA Champions League in Kyiv last season. The Scouser was also a part of England’s squad in their World Cup campaign. The right-back even scored a goal for the Three Lions during their recent international friendly against the USA.


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Furthermore, AC Milan’s Patrick Cutrone also features in the final five along with two Netherlands internationals- Matthijs De Ligt and Justin Kluivert. De Ligt has turned the attention of many top-flight European clubs such as Manchester United and Liverpool with his solid defensive performances for both Ajax and the Netherlands. As for Kluivert, the young AS Roma winger has stepped into his father’s, Patrick Kluivert’s shoes perfectly.

Apart from these four players, Real Madrid’s  Vinicius Junior completes the five-man shortlist for Golden Boy Award this year. Being an 18-year-old, Vinicius is the youngest amongst them all and like his counterparts, he too has performed exceptionally for the Los Blancos and their reserves team.

Published: Wed Nov 21, 2018 05:37 PM IST

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