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Lamine Yamal and Alejandro Balde, Golden Boy finalists
The prestigious award will be given to the best footballer in Europe aged under 21 years
The winner of the Golden Boy prize for 2023 is going to be revealed very soon. For now, the shortlist has been cut to 25, and there are two from FC Barcelona still in the running, Lamine Yamal and Alejandro Balde.
Wild card choice
Lamine Yamal, who is breaking records left, right and centre, has been named a wildcard candidate by Tuttosport, the Italian paper that awards the prize. The Barça teenager was not included in the 20 names in the Golden Boy Index based on the Football BenchMark statistical analysis, but was one of five additional choices added to the shortlist.
The aforesaid list did include Alejandro Balde, and the full back has never dropped out of the top ten. Gavi is also in the list, in fourth place, but the rules dictate that he is not eligible for the prize because he is already a member of its Hall of Fame and therefore cannot opt for the prize a second time.
Two Barça winners
Barça has been dominating the Golden Boy in recent years. In 2021, the eventual winner was Pedri, and he was succeeded last season by his team-mate Gavi. And 2019 winner João Félix is also now at Barça! And we don't have to go back too many years to find Leo Messi (2005), Cesc Fàbregas (2006) and Kun Agüero (2007) also getting the award. Could we now have yet another winner in either Lamine Yamal or Alejandro Balde? We'll be finding out very soon!