Atletico Madrid starlet Joao Felix has won the Golden Boy award for 2019, the prize awarded by the Italian newspaper Tuttosport.
The trophy is awarded to the best Under-21 player of the year who plays in a European league and Atleti’s Felix – a club record €126m arrival from Benfica this summer – had been the favourite to land the award.
The Portugal international was chosen by a panel composed of 40 journalists from the main Italian and international media.
Matthijs de Ligt had been the current holder of the award but as per the rules of the competition he cannot retain it, after having joined Juventus from Ajax in a €75m deal this summer.
RB Salzburg forward Erling Haaland was tipped by many to land the award as was Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund, who finished second, with Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz in third.
There had been a total of seven Spain-based players on the shortlist including Real Madrid’s Brazilian duo Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes, Valencia pair Kang-in Lee and Ferran Torres along with goalkeeper Andriy Lunin, on loan at Real Valladolid from Madrid.