Golden Boy Award: World Cup-Winning PSG Prodigy Kylian Mbappe Not Included On Final Five-Man 2018 Shortlist

Chris Wright

21st, November 2018


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The five-man short list for the 2018 Golden Boy award has been announced and, in a somewhat perplexing turn of events, it doesn’t include the one player you’d think was nailed on to win it.

As doled out by Italian sports newspaper Tuttosport, the Golden Boy is a prestigious accolade awarded annually to the best player under the age of 21 across Europe’s top leagues, with previous winners including Sergio Aguero, Paul Pogba, Isco, Raheem Sterling and Lionel Messi.

After being included on the initial 40-man long list, it was widely assumed that Kylian Mbappe would be a shoe-in to claim the 2018 award just as he did the 2017 edition (especially now that he’s won a World Cup in between), but no – there shall be no back-to-back honours for the PSG prodigy.

Indeed, the final five are as follows:

Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax)
Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid)
Patrick Cutrone (AC Milan)
Justin Kluivert (Roma)

The winner will now be determined by a panel of 30 journalists representing 20 premier European sport publications such as MARCA, Bild and L’Equipe.

Decent as they all are, can any of those five listed players truly claim to have had a more stellar start to their career than Mbappe? The answer is clear and stark: Non.

Posted in Miscellaneous, PSG

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  1. Nuno says:

    Quite ridiculous… what the hell is Vinicius doing there instead of Mbappé? He barely has a full game for Real Madrid this season (and it’s not like it is a super strong Madrid…).
    You could also mention this prize was also once given to Anderson, from ManUtd… just to put a bit of perspective.

  2. Straight Dave says:

    Alexander-Arnold ahead of one of the greatest prospects of the game in modern times and a World Cup winner to boot?


  3. VieuxSang says:

    Could be strategic, a flourish to draw the crowds, who will seek justice next year.

  4. Pol says:

    Weird choice to not let him in the final 5. Is it like he is to obvious and actually this title is for the runner up?

  5. John says:

    Mbappe is a fantastic player but what has he really done to be one of the top five players in 2018? He plays in France for fuck’s sake! And at the World Cup, apart from that run against Argentina, what has he done? Not that the other guys are better than him, far from it. But Mbappe hasn’t really done big brilliant things this year. He was way better when Monaco almost got to the UCL final.

    • Nuno says:

      And which of the above mentioned 5 did better than Mbappé? For good or bad, Mbappé played an important role for the World Champions. Kluivert and Cutrone were not even playing for teams that did not qualify for the WC… and Vinicius is just there for Real Madrid propaganda, he did nothing of note in Europe yet.

      • John says:

        Agree with you, sir, none were better – far from it. But Mbappe wasn’t that great either. I would nominate other players.

        • Nuno says:

          Fair enough, but honestly I went to the 40-man shortlist and didn’t recognize half the players… Note that this is for the top five players UNDER 21. I honestly don’t recall any 20-year-old having more impact on a big team than Mbappé over the last year. Last year’s top5 indeed looked stronger contention (Dembelé, Rashford, Jesus and Donnarumma), but only the latter would be eligible this year. Guess it’s just the overall quality is not as high as last years.

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