Golden Boy winners and candidates playing in Copa América 2024

Golden Boy winners and candidates playing in Copa América 2024

The Golden Boy award is strictly a European award, but it is not only for European players. The only demand to win the award (apart from the age of course) is that a player plays in a European club. The means that now when the American tournament Copa América 2024 is being played, it still make sense to have a look at the Golden Boy situation in this tournament as well, as we have already covered the Euro 2024 players.

Which Golden Boy award winners plays in Copa América 2024?

Since the start of this award there has been four South American winners of the award. The last time this happened though was as long back as 2009 when the Brazilian Alexandre Pato won. The year before there was another Brazilian winner, Anderson (who generally is considered the "least worthy winner" of the price). In 2007 the prize was grabbed by the Argentine striker Sergio Agüero, who is now retired.

So, this means we have one South America winner left, and he is the only award winner who is playing in this version of Copa América: Lionel Messi. He was the third winner of the award back in 2004, and he is practically the only South American winner at all still playing. We are saying practically since Alexandre Pato has not officially retired, but he is without contract with a club at the moment.

Up until Messi won Copa América with Argentina 2021 there were always talk about that Messi could never be in the considerations of being the best football player in the history without a title with his national team. But after winning the 2021 version of the tournament he also led Argentina to a FIFA World Cup title 2022, and after that he for sure could (should) be mentioned in the same sentence as Diego Maradona and Pelé (and some people would maybe like to include Cristiano Ronaldo here as well).

In other words, in this version of Copa America Messi is aiming for his third straight international title, and if he at the age of 37 (he is turning 37 in two days, 24 of June) would manage that it would be a massive achievement. And Argentina are favourites, with Brazil as the usual number one contender, so it could very well happen. In the premiere two days ago they got off to a great first step as Argentina won against Canada with 2-0, and Messi assisted to one of the goals.

Are there any potential award winners 2024 in the tournament?

Apart from Messi who is representing the winners of the Golden Boy award in the tournament we also have some candidates for the price 2024, and additionally one who is a very possible future winner.

In Argentina we find two players, Manchester United’s forward Alejandro Garnacho and the attacking midfielder Valentín Carboni, who belongs to Inter Milan but was loaned out to Monza this season. As everyone know Argentina have many strong offensive players in their team so their chances of getting any playing time are not great, and none of the two played in the opening game against Canada.

The Brazilian winger Sávio had a fantastic season with his Spanish club Girona (on loan from French Troyes) this season, a real breakthrough for this previously rather unknown player. This not only led for him to debut in the Brazilian national team, but he has also gotten playing time in three of Brazil’s last four games. He will most likely not be a starting player in Brazil, but will for sure get some minutes on the pitch as the tournament prolongs.

In the Chile squad we find Darío Osorio, a striker playing for the Danish club Midtjylland where he scored 9 goals in 25 competitive matches this season. It should be mentioned that Osorio is far down in the list of potential award winners so he is most likely not a candidate for the Golden Boy award, but he might be the player on the list that gets most playing time in Copa América.

And finally we must mention the Brazilian wonder kid Endrick as well. This 17-year-old (turning 18 just after the tournament ends) is not a possible award winner since he is not playing in a European club, but he has already been signed by Real Madrid and is expected to move to the Spanish capital later this summer. He won’t be able to win the award this year, but you can count on him being on the short list next year.

22 Jun 2024