๐Ÿ… Where are the 10 most recent Golden Boy winners?
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๐Ÿ… Where are the 10 most recent Golden Boy winners?

The Golden Boy award has been given to some of Europe's finest rising stars over the years.

The award was founded in 2003 by the Italian sports weekly Tuttosport and has since evolved to become one of the most talked-about lists in the football calendar, with votes coming from a variety of European publications.

Bild (Germany), Blick (Switzerland), A Bola (Portugal), l'Équipe (France), France Football (France), Marca (Spain), Mundo Deportivo (Spain), Ta Nea (Greece), Sport Express (Russia), De Telegraaf (Netherlands), and The Times (UK) are among the current judging panel members.

Pedri is the most recent winner of the award, taking home the prize in 2021 ahead of Jude Bellingham and Jamal Musiala, who came in second and third place, respectively. The Spaniard had a wonderful year for club and country in 2020/21, appearing in 71 games, being chosen to the Euro 2020 squad of the tournament, and earning silver at the Tokyo Olympics.

The top five were completed by Bayer Leverkusen's Florian Wirtz and Barcelona's Gavi, but who did Pedri join on the list of Golden Boys, and where are the top 10 recent ones now?

1. 2020: Erling Haaland
Current club: Borussia Dortmund

In the 2019/20 season, Haaland scored 44 goals in all competitions for Red Bull Salzburg and Borussia Dortmund, making him an easy choice for 2020. The Norwegian continued his incredible form in 2020/21, scoring 41 goals in 41 appearances, and only injury has prevented him from breaking that record this season.

2. 2019: Joao Felix
Current club: Atletico Madrid

Joao Felix was recognized for his outstanding debut season at Benfica, in which he scored 15 goals and added seven assists in 26 matches in the Primeira Liga. Felix made his Portugal debut in the Uefa Nations League, starting in the semi-final triumph over Switzerland, and has since made 17 more appearances. Felix signed with Atletico Madrid after the mini-tournament, but the 21-year-old has yet to live up to the enormous expectations placed on him, but he's getting there.

3. 2018: Matthijs de Ligt
Current club: Juventus

Matthijs de Ligt was a promising center-back at Ajax when he won the award in 2018. Ajax went on to win the domestic double, including the Eredivisie title for the first time since 2014. As captain, De Ligt was instrumental in Ajax's progress to the Champions League semi-final, and his performances won him a move to Juventus. Despite winning Serie A, De Ligt has yet to live up to expectations.

4. 2017: Kylian Mbappe
Current club: Paris Saint-Germain

The now-22-year-old striker joined PSG on a loan with a £160 million buy-out clause in 2018, making him the club's second-most expensive player behind teammate Neymar. After a season in which he caught the attention of the world's biggest stage (the Champions League), it was a foregone conclusion that he wouldn't stay at the Principality club for long. Mbappe is now rubbing shoulders with bigger fish in the capital of France, alongside Neymar and Lionel Messi, but it's a pond he's thriving in as well, with 140 goals in 188 games thus far. He also played a key role in France's 2018 World Cup victory, scoring four goals as a teenager, a feat only surpassed by Pele at the age of 17.

5. 2016: Renato Sanches
Current club: LOSC Lille

After a £35 million move to Bayern Munich, Renato Sanches spent a season on the bench. Carlo Ancelotti only gave the youngster six league starts, only one of which was for the entire 90 minutes. The Bavarians' administration stated that he was then free to depart in the summer, with AC Milan and Chelsea also expressing interest. However, it was Paul Clement, a former Ancelotti assistant, who signed him on loan to Swansea City, where he failed to show the star-like form that had been predicted upon his arrival. He's now at Lille, where he was one of the team's best players when they won the league last season, after a catastrophic summer with Bayern Munich.

6. 2015: Anthony Martial
Current club: Man United

People laughed at Ed Woodward's £36 million charge to Monaco for the Frenchman in 2015, but that number is now a fair price for a solid center-back. In 2019/20, the France international scored 23 goals in all competitions, but his pace has dropped since then.

7. 2014: Raheem Sterling
Current club: Manchester City

Despite the controversy surrounding his sale, the England international has so far shown to be a wise investment. He has contributed goals, assists, and end-product to City's back-to-back Premier League victories in 2018 and 2019. He extended his contract with the Premier League champions until 2023 and has developed into a prolific goalscorer, although with a few crucial misses.

8. 2013: Paul Pogba
Current club: Manchester United

The muscular and energetic midfielder gained prominence in Serie A and was constantly linked with a move to Manchester United, which he did for a then-world-record sum of £89 million five years ago. After a disappointing return, the World Cup winner appeared to be playing with more freedom in the early stages of the 2021/22 season, displaying his talent.

9. 2012: Isco
Current club: Real Madrid

Spain is churning out midfielders like butter at the moment, with a seemingly infinite supply of talent requiring even the finest players to compete for airtime. Isco is one of these individuals. His remarkable success at Malaga earned him a lucrative transfer to Real Madrid, but his first-team opportunities were limited by the bothersome pair of a past Ballon d'Or winner and the world's most expensive footballer. Isco has the talents to pay the bills, despite his lack of a sure starting spot during his time at Real Madrid, and now that Cristiano Ronaldo is no longer there.

10. 2011: Mario Gotze
Current club: PSV

Mario Gotze may have made the all-too-common mistake of switching from hipster haven Borussia Dortmund to behemoth Bayern Munich, but his trophy cabinet says he made the perfect decision Despite the fact that he hasn't reached the lofty heights that have been promised, no one is brave enough to say it after he won the World Cup in 2014 with a breathtaking injury-time volley. However, it did not work out for him after that, and Gotze went to Dortmund, where he struggled to recapture his old spark, and has now joined PSV, where he has a respectable five goals and eight assists in 29 Eredivisie games.