Thiago Alcántara second place for the Golden Boy 2011 award / PHOTO: ARXIU FCB

Thiago’s talent and development with Barça and the Spanish national side earned him second position in this year's Golden Boy award, only bested by the 19 year-old Mario Goetze, who is part of the Borussia Dortmund squad, champions of the Bundesliga.

Thiago will never forget 2011. In January, Andoni Zubizarreta confirmed that the Spanish-Brazilian midfielder would be a full time first team player. At the of the of 2010/11 season Thiago made regular appearances for Guardiola’s Barça, furthermore, he scored two goals. In July, he renewed his contract with Barça through 2015. This summer he was part of Spain’s Under 21 squad that won the Euro Cup and he was named MVP of the championship match. He then went on to complete a spectacular pre-season with the first team and on September 6th, he made his debut for the Spanish national side against Liechtenstein. Closing out this calendar year, Thiago is one of Guardiola’s most used players on the pitch.

The Ballon d’Or for youngsters

The prize, given out every year since 2003, is considered to be the Ballon dOr for young footballers playing in Europe. The award is decided by the votes of 30 reporters from across Europe.

Golden Boy winners

2003 Van der Vaart (Ajax)
2004 Rooney (Manchester United)
2005 Messi (FC Barcelona)
2006 Cesc (Arsenal)
2007 Agüero (Atlético Madrid)
2008 Anderson (Manchester United)
2009 Pato (Milan)
2010 Balotelli (Manchester City)
2011 Goetze (Borussia Dortmund)