The UEFA Golden Boy Award is given to the promising star under the age of 21 who has impressed during a calendar year. The English Premier League leads the winners list of the Golden Boy Award with 6, Spanish La Liga follows with 3, Italian Serie A with 2 whiles German Bundesliga and Netherland’s Eredivisie concludes with a win each. This year’s nomination features Rashford and Iwobi leading the line for the premier league but would Renato Sanchez’s exploits with Portugal and Gianluigi Donnarumma’s displacement of Diego Lopez at Milan impress voters?
A great European season ended in spectacular fashion with Real Madrid C.F and Sevilla both from Spain’s topflight winning UEFA’s club competitions. Portugal was also crowned as champions of the UEFA Euro 2016 held in France.
UEFA has released 40 names of young players from Europe’s top tier leagues competing for the golden boy award. Four players stand out from the list of 40 and they are Renato Sanchez, Marcus Rashford, Alex Iwobi and Gianluigi Donnarumma. Among these players the only player who saw European glory was Renato Sanchez.
Renato Sanchez’s UEFA Euro Win Gives Him an Edge in Winning the Golden Boy Award
Renato Sanchez used his strength and ability to fight off others stars such as Blaise Matuidi and 2013 Golden Boy Award winner Paul Pogba in the final of the UEFA Euro 2016. His performances at the tournament earned him a move to Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich.
Rashford Has Been Impressive for Manchester United
Marcus Rashford came into the spotlight after scoring two goals against Arsenal at Old Trafford. Rashford was tagged as the man who kept Louis Van Gaal on the hot seat of Manchester United right to the death and helped the team win the English FA Cup. This earned him a surprise call-up to the English National Team and was eventually included in the 23-man squad for the Euro.
At the start of the 2016/17 season, he has been in scintillating form scoring Manchester United’s winning goal at Hull City and making it three goals clear for Manchester United against Leicester City on September 25.
Iwobi Has Forced His Way into the Arsenal Starting XI with Great Performances
Alex Iwobi has been one of the golden boys for Arsenal after Alexis Sanchez was shifted to the main focal point of attack. On 25 September, his pass to Hector Bellerin and then to Theo Walcott gave Arsenal a two goal lead.
Iwobi’s pace and run has seen many defenders lag behind and his contributions are invaluable to Arsenal’s success this season.
Gianluigi Donnarumma the Successor to Gianluigi Buffon
The final player who has a clear shot at the golden boy award is young Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. At 17, Donnarumma has knocked off Diego Lopez from Milan’s starting line-up to become its first choice goalkeeper. Not only that, Donnarumma earned his first cap for Italy against France in an international game when he replaced Gianluigi Buffon at the Estadio San Nicola in Bari and looks poised to be the nation’s shot stopper in the long term.
The inaugural winner of the golden boy award is Rafael Van Der Vaart in 2003 and the current holder is Anthony Martial.
Do you agree with the list and who you think deserves to be the winner of the golden boy award for 2016?