Gavi, Ilias and Balde collect Next Generation awards
La Masia trio all included in goal.com's selection of the best 50 players born from 2003 onwards, with Gavi placing third
La Masia continues to be one of the biggest factories of football talent in the world, and reflected by the Next Generation awards in which Goal.com picks the 50 greatest young players of the year.
All candidates are U19, in other words, born after 1 January 2003 calendar year, and three of this year’s selection are from FC Barcelona, namely Alejandro Balde, Ilias Akhomach and Gavi. The trio were presented with their trophies on Monday morning at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper.
Balde was 35th in the ranking, Ilias was 18th and Gavi, who has been playing with the first team all season even though at his age he would normally be in the U19 squad, came as high as third, sharing the podium with Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen) and the outright winner Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund).
Note that both Gavi and Ilias were actually born in 2004, and are among the youngest players on the list, being up to a year younger than some of the other players included