Tuttosport revealed the list of 100 nominees for the Golden Boy award on Wednesday afternoon. Since its creation in 2003, the award recognises the best player under the age of 21. Sixteen French players are on the shortlist for the 2022 edition:
Lucien Agoumé (Inter Milan/Brest), Janis Antiste (Spezia), Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid), Rayan Cherki (Lyon), Mohamed Ali-Cho (Angers), Hugo Ekitike (Reims), Maxime Estève (Montpellier), Malo Gusto (Lyon), Arnaud Kalimuendo (PSG/Lens), Tanguy Kouassi (Bayern Munich), Isaac Lihadji (Lille), Castello Lukeba (Lyon), Nathanaël Mbuku (Reims), Georgino Rutter (Hoffenheim), Brandon Soppy (Udinese) et Elye Wahi (Montpellier).
French players have always been steadily present in the award, especially with Ligue 1’s reputation across the world as being a ‘league of talents’. However in 19 years, only three young French starlets have won the award: Paul Pogba in 2013, Antony Martial in 2015 and Kylian Mbappé in 2017.
According to L’Équipe, the 2021 winner Pedri (19) is a tipped candidate to win the award – along with Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich), Ryan Gravenberch (Bayern Munich/Ajax Amsterdam), Gavi (FC Barcelona), Ansu Fati (FC Barcelona), and Nuno Mendes (PSG).