The shortlist for the 2017 golden boy award has been announced. Manchester United Marcus Rashford, Paris Saint Germain’s Kylian Mbappé and Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembélé are the front runners among the 25 contenders to win the award. The top prize is awarded by Italian newspaper Tuttosport and is given to Europe’s most talented under 21-footballer.
The prize which was founded is 2003 surprisingly has a hidden curse. Only one player, namely Lionel Messi, in the 14 year history of the award has gone on to win the ballon D’or. Wayne Rooney won the award in 2004. He was hailed the best English player of his generation by Lionel Messi. 13 year’s later he is no more at Manchester United and has failed to guide England to glory before hanging his boots from international football at 31. Anderson won the award in 2008. The then Manchester United youngster, however, failed to live up to his potential. 7 years spent at Old Trafford, but he manged just 105 appearances. Today he plies his trade in on loan at Coritiba in Brazil.
MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 18: Arturo Vidal (R) blocks Luka Modric (L) of Real Madrid CF during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final second leg match between Real Madrid CF and FC Bayern Muenchen at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on April 18, 2017 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
AC Milan’s teen sensation Alexander Pato was creating waves in the football world with his exceptional finishing. In 2009 the expectation grew after he took home the Golden Boy award. However, injuries plagued his career. The homesick striker left Italy for Brazil, but tried to make a comeback to Europe with failed a loan spell at Chelsea. The man who won the World Cup for Germany, Mario Gotze was honoured with the award in 2011. Again injuries and a metabolic disorder seems to have halted his progress. Recovering from the disorder, Gotze has just returned to football this season with Dortmund.
Last year’s winner Renato Sanchez seems to have been severely affected by the curse. His fine form earned him a call for the Euro 2016, which he helped Portugal claim. He then secured a big money move to Bayern Munich. However, from then on things have only gone downhill for Sanchez. The 20 year old is now on loan at Swansea trying to bring is career back on track. Rashford, Mbappé and Dembélé have all had bright starts to their career and seem like they have the potential to go all the way. But the big question is, whoever the winner of this award may be, will he be able to avoid the curse?