What started as a 100-player shortlist is down the final 20, as the nominees for the 2019 Golden Boy award were announced this morning.
The Golden Boy award is organized by Italy’s Tuttosport and voted on by journalists from various European nations — England are represented by The Times — but there’s also a public vote component that helps narrow the initial list of 100 names down to the final 20. Those 20 include one Chelsea player, a certain Mason Mount, who joins Manchester City’s Phil Foden and Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho as the three English players under the age of 21 who were deemed some of the very best over the past calendar year. Everton’s Moise Kean and Arsenal’s Matteo Guendouzi were also nominated from the Premier League.
Last year’s winner, Matthijs de Ligt made the final cut this year as well, though there’s never been a repeat winner in the award’s 16-year history — not even Lionel Messi, who won it in 2005. Former Chelsea players Cesc Fabregas (2006) and Alexandre Pato (2009) are among the who’s who of big name winners.
The 20 nominees for the 2019 Golden Ball are as follows. The winner will be announced on December 16, with Atlético’s João Félix the odds-on favorite to win it.
Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich)
Matthijs de Light (Juventus)
Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan)
Ansu Fati (Barcelona)
Phil Foden (Manchester City)
Matteo Guendouzi (Arsenal)
Erling Braut Håland (RB Salzburg)
Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen)
João Félix (Atlético Madrid)
Dejan Joveljić (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Moise Kean (Everton)
Kang-in Lee (Valencia)
Andriy Oleksiyovych Lunin (Real Valladolid)
Donyell Malen (PSV)
MASON MOUNT (CHELSEA)
Rodrygo (Real Madrid)
Jadon Sancho (BVB)
Ferran Torres (Valencia)
Vinícius Jr (Real Madrid)
Nicolò Zaniolo (AS Roma)