THE 2019 Golden Boy nominations have been released – and there are three young England stars in the running for the prestigious title.
Mason Mount, Jadon Sancho and Phil Foden have all more than deserved their spot on the 20-man shortlist.
They’ve excelled for their respective clubs, while Mount and Sancho were even part of the Three Lions’ most-recent squad.
The trio join the likes of Joao Felix, Matteo Guendouzi, Moise Kean and last year’s winner Matthijs De Ligt on the 20-strong shortlist.
The likes of Lionel Messi and Wayne Rooney have got their hands on the trophy, as well as some underwhelming names like Anderson and Alexandre Pato.
Even more incredibly Cristiano Ronaldo, Eden Hazard and Neymar have all failed in their bid to win the award.
But who are the other previous winners of the award since its 2003 inception? Take a look below…
2003 – RAFAEL VAN DER VAART
THEN at Ajax, 20-year-old Van der Vaart was already an established star in Holland – with three full seasons under his belt.
The 109-cap Holland legend went to play for Hamburg, Real Madrid and Tottenham, as well as Real Betis, Midtjylland and Esbjerg.
2004 – WAYNE ROONEY
AFTER exploding on to the scene in 2002-03 with Everton – with that goal against Arsenal – Rooney earned a move to Manchester United that summer.
After winning the award around his 20th birthday, Rooney went on to win 120 caps for England, become the nation’s all-time leading scorer, while adding five Premier League titles and one Champions League crown, scoring 306 career goals.
2005 – LIONEL MESSI
ONLY 18-years-old at the time, Messi exploded on to the scene with Barcelona only a year earlier.
The Argentine legend has become arguably the greatest player of all time, scoring 615 goals in 724 club games, as well as 68 Argentina goals from 136 games.
Messi has won ten La Liga titles, four Champions League crowns – as well as five Ballons d’Or, amongst many, many other accolades.
2006 – CESC FABREGAS
THEN at Arsenal, Fabregas was 19-years-old when he was given the nod.
The Spaniard went on to star for Barcelona and Chelesa before heading to Monaco – where he now plays – with three league crowns to his name, in all.
2007 – SERGIO AGUERO
A MANCHESTER CITY legend, Aguero was at Atletico Madrid, aged 19, when he bagged the award.
Aguero has gone to win four titles at City, including the dramatic winner as the club won their first-ever Premier League crown in 2011-12 on the final day of the season.
2008 – ANDERSON
THE list’s first true flop, Anderson had joined Man Utd in 2007, thought to be an exciting young winger.
But issues with form and fitness saw him transition into becoming a wildly underwhelming central midfielder.
After leaving United in 2015, Anderson turned out for Internacional and Adana Demirspor in the Turkish second tier.
2009 – ALEXANDRE PATO
ANOTHER “future superstar” who never quite became that, Pato was on fire as a 20-year-old at AC Milan, having just scored 15 Serie A goals in 2008-09.
But injuries and a lack of form saw him move back to Brazil, before an ill-fated loan stint at Chelsea preceded time at Villarreal Tianjin Quanjian and Sao Paulo.
2010 – MARIO BALOTELLI
AFTER three red-hot years at Inter Milan, “Super Mario” bagged his move to Man City in the summer of 2010 before winning the Golden Boy award.
But things never quite panned out for Balotelli as lack of form on the pitch and a series of controversies off it saw him become something of a journeyman.
2011 – MARIO GOTZE
THEN only 19-years-old, Gotze was being tipped for a bright future at Borussia Dortmund – and even earned a move to Bayern Munich in 2013.
But a spate of injuries and a freak illness threatened to derail his career, as a return to Dortmund saw Gotze get back on track – even getting back into the Germany squad.
2012 – ISCO
AFTER swapping Valencia for Malaga, Isco instantly became a sensation in Spain, earning himself the Golden Boy award in 2012, aged 20.
He earned a move to Real Madrid a year later, but while featuring 187 times in six years, many believe he would have earned far more individual success elsewhere.
2013 – PAUL POGBA
POGBA quit Old Trafford in 2012 with just three Premier League appearances under his belt – instantly becoming a hit at Juventus.
The Frenchman quickly became one of the best and most dynamic midfielders in the world, becoming the most-expensive player in the world three years after his Golden Boy win as he rejoined United in an £89m deal.
But his career has stalled somewhat with question marks over his attitude and commitment, despite playing a huge role as France won the 2018 World Cup.
2014 – RAHEEM STERLING
FROM talented star at Liverpool to one of the best players in the world at present, it’s been a meteoric rise for Sterling.
The England ace won the award aged 19 and would join Man City the following summer – where he has gone from strength to strength, winning two Premier League titles.
2015 – ANTHONY MARTIAL
THE now-Man Utd star swapped Lyon for Monaco in 2013 and quickly became a key squad member as they rose to the top of French football.
Another star to see his career stall a tad at Old Trafford, Martial has been unable to score with any regularity and has been arguably hampered by former bosses’ styles of play.
LADBROKES 1-2-FREE Simply predict Man City, Rangers and Man Utd vs Liverpool scores this coming week and win £100
MOST READ IN FOOTBALL
2016 – RENATO SANCHES
AFTER impressing for Benfica in 2015-16, Sanches was called up to Portugal’s squad for Euro 2016 – and the midfielder starred as they stunned Europe to win the title.
Sanches, still only 22, earned himself a move to Bayern Munich – but his career hit a brick wall and was even sent on an atrocious loan spell at Swansea.
The Portuguese flop is now at Lille but is yet to score in nine matches in all competitions this season.
2017 – KYLIAN MBAPPE
THE France wonderkid had just joined Paris Saint-Germain from Monaco when the Golden Boy committee came knocking.
Mbappe has scored 34 Ligue 1 goals in just 33 games since making that move permanent in 2018 – and has won two Ligue 1 crowns as well as the World Cup in that run.
2018 – MATTHIJS DE LIGT
DE LIGT was in phenomenal form last season as Ajax reached the semi-finals of the Champions League.
But even before that stellar run, De Ligt was awarded the Golden Boy award last winter.
His form saw seemingly every club in the world after him, with Juventus winning the race.