Golden Boy award race for 2024 is on

Golden Boy award race for 2024 is on

The race for the Golden Boy award 2024 is on! We will here have a look at the favourites to win the prestigious award this year. Note that it is only players who are born in the year 2004 or later that are eligable to compete and win.

Last year was basically a one man race as there was no doubt that Jude Bellingham would win the award after his brilliant start of the season in his new club Real Madrid. This year however, it is a wide open race. There is still time for players to become one of the contenders as a great start of the next season might change a lot, but at the moment there are basically four players who might win this year.

Lamine Yamal, Spain and Barcelona

The Spanish giant FC Barcelona have three previous winners of the Golden Boy award and may very well get their fourth one this year as the Spanish winger Lamine Yamal is one of the favourites. Yamal made his debut for Barcelona already last season, in April 2023 being only 15 years old at the time, as he substituted 2022 years Golden Boy award winner Gavi in a La Liga match against Real Betis. This season he has already established himself as a regular player in Barcelona and has already represented Spain in six matches.

Also note that Yamal is only 16 years old, born 13th of July 2007, so even if he wouldn't win this year, he is still in the running the coming three years as well. This is something that actually might be to his disadvantage though, since some voters might think that his chance to win will come later, and thus voting for someone else.

Warren Zaïre-Emery, France and Paris Saint-Germain

Paris Saint-Germain have a strong youth organisation and manages to continuously produce new stars, and the midfielder Warren Zaïre-Emery is the latest and hottest of them right now. The Frenchman is already a star player in PSG, despite only being 18 years old (born on the 8th of March 2006). He has also debuted for France and scored in his first match against Gibraltar (OK, in a 14-0 win but anyway...) and has played one more game for he national team after that.

Alejandro Garnacho, Argentina and Manchester United

The Argentinian Alejandro Garnacho had a breakthrough in Manchester United last season. He may not be a regular starting man in The Red Devils but for sure a regular player, and he is for sure one of the most interesting young wingers in the world right now. However, for him to actually become the Golden Boy of 2024 not only he but also Manchester United need to ramp up their performances next season.

João Neves, Portugal and Benfica

Another young player that is among the favourites is the Portuguese midfielder João Neves, playing for Benfica. Since he is playing in the Portuguese league he is perhaps lesser known (right now) than the previous three players, but there is no doubt he is a huge talent. Apart from being a regular starting player in his club, the 18-year old Neves has already represented his Portugal five times. Manchester United are said to have their eyes on him but the price tag will for sure be high, there are talks around £100 million for Benfica to release him.

Any other candidates?

So, apart from these four mentioned players, are there any others who have a realistic chance of winning? Well, there are plenty of great young players out there and since the winner is decided a few months into the 2024/2025 season, any player with a brilliant start of next season might become contenders. For this to happen it really has to be a player that plays in a top club and do really great in the European Cups as well.

Players like Manchester City's defender Rico Lewis might be one of them, Bayern Munich's Mathys Tel another. Manchester United's midfielder Kobbie Mainoo has made a name of himself the last few months but as he plays in a club that won't play in the UEFA Champions League next year it will be harder for him to get the attention that is needed.

You can also follow the current index of the players on, where players are ranked and is monthly updated.

14 Apr 2024