Ranking The 5 Favorites To Win The Golden Boy Award: Real Madrid Star Jude Bellingham Headlines List

Real Madrid Ace Jude Bellingham Is One Of The Top Scorers In La Liga
Real Madrid Ace Jude Bellingham Is One Of The Top Scorers In La Liga

Presented to the best U-21 player who has impressed the most over the last 12 months, the Golden Boy award is one of the most prestigious accolades a young soccer player can win.

Esteemed journalists from the leading newspapers in Europe cast their votes each year to pick the most deserving candidate. In its current format, journalists are assisted by stats from Football Benchmark (Golden Boy Index), which rates players based on their performance, playing time, and club quality. For the 2023 Golden Boy award, Football Benchmark is taking matches that were held between the start of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and September 4, 2023, into account.

Since Italian newspaper Tuttosport established the award in 2003, the award has gone to some of the most accomplished players in the game, including Lionel Messi, Wayne Rooney, Kylian Mbappe, and Erling Haaland. So, naturally, fans are buzzing to see who takes home the 2023 Golden Boy award at the coronation ceremony in Turin on December 4.

Based on the 25-man (including Wild Cards) shortlist Tuttosport released on Thursday (October 12), we are ranking the five favorites to win the Golden Boy award this year. Now, without further ado, let’s get to it!

#5 Alejandro Balde – Barcelona

Alejandro Balde Is One Of The Favorites To Win The Golden Boy Award
Alejandro Balde Has Been Serving As Barcelona’s First-Choice Left Back

Barcelona’s 19-year-old left-back Alejandro Balde is the only Barca player to be included in Golden Boy’s list of 20 nominees (excluding Wild Cards). And considering his career trajectory, it should not come as a surprise.

Rising through the club’s ranks, Balde took Jordi Alba’s place in the senior team last season. He scored once and provided six assists in 33 La Liga games, helping his team win the title in his debut campaign. The Spain international has been just as impressive this season, pitching in with an assist in eight La Liga matches. Furthermore, Balde has an impressive Golden Boy Index rating of 85.7, which is the sixth highest on the Football Benchmark-compiled list.

#4 Antonio Silva – SL Benfica

Antonio Silva Is One Of The Favorites To Win The Golden Ball Award
Antonio Silva Has Scored Once This Season

Benfica’s 19-year-old center-back Antonio Silva is one of the most sought-after young defenders in the world. He is great with the ball at his feet, is deceptively quick, and rarely makes a mistake inside the box, making him the complete package. According to reports, many top European clubs, including Real Madrid and Manchester United, are interested in the Portuguese’s services.

Silva, who has been with Benfica all his career, has played nine games this season in all competitions, scoring once. His Golden Boy Index rating of 92.9 is also amongst the highest, emerging as one of the favorites for the prestigious award.

#3 Xavi Simons – RB Leipzig

Xavi Simons Is One Of The Favorites To Win Golden Boy
Xavi Simons Has Been Directly Involved In 7 Goals This Season

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) loanee Xavi Simons enjoyed a fruitful campaign with PSV Eindhoven in the 2022-23 season. He appeared in 48 matches for the Eredivisie outfit, scoring 22 times and providing 12 assists. Despite Simons’ impressive numbers, PSG once again sent him out on loan in July, this time to Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig.

Simons has performed admirably so far at Leipzig, scoring thrice and providing four assists in seven Bundesliga games. The 20-year-old also has an impressive Golden Boy Index rating of 92.1, which makes him the fourth-highest on the rankings.

#2 Jamal Musiala – Bayern Munich

Jamal Musiala Is One Of The Favorites To Win The Golden Boy Award
Jamal Musiala Completed 19 Dribbles In Just 3 Matches At The 2022 FIFA World Cup

One of the best attacking midfielders in the world, Jamal Musiala has been deservedly named in the 25-man shortlist for the 2023 Golden Boy award. The Bayern Munich ace lit up the Bundesliga last season, recording an impressive 12 goals and 13 assists in 33 appearances. He also caught everyone’s eye at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, completing a whopping 19 dribbles in just three matches. Only Kylian Mbappe completed more dribbles (25) than the German after playing four more matches.

Unfortunately, Musiala has not been at his best this season. Playing eight games across competitions for the German champions, Musiala has only scored once and claimed two assists. However, he maintains a strong position in the Golden Boy Index, with him sitting in second place with 95.9 points.

#1 Jude Bellingham – Real Madrid

Real Madrid Superstar Jude Bellingham Is The Favorite To Win The Golden Boy Award
Real Madrid Superstar Jude Bellingham Has Scored 10 Goals This Season

Real Madrid superstar Jude Bellingham is the unabashed favorite to win the Golden Boy award this year. The 20-year-old England international has been in piping hot form over the last couple of years, which the journalists simply cannot ignore. To top it off, Bellingham sits pretty at the top of Football Benchmark’s Golden Boy Index, amassing a total of 99 points.

The central midfielder has emerged as the best player in Europe this season, dazzling both with his midfield play and goalscoring ability. Playing 10 matches for Los Blancos in all competitions, Bellingham has scored 10 times and provided three assists. The former Borussia Dortmund star also performed admirably for England at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, scoring once and claiming an assist in five appearances.

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