Barcelona starlet Ansu Fati has been nominated for the 2020 Golden Boy Award after a superb breakthrough season with the Catalan giants.
The 17-year-old striker is on the longlist for the prestigious award which was released on Monday. Barcelona left-back Juan Miranda, currently on loan at Schalke, is also one of the 100 nominees.
The Golden Boy is an annual award given to the best Under-21 player in the world. Previous winners have included Matthijs de Ligt, Kylian Mbappe, Anthony Martial, and Paul Pogba.
Atletico Madrid’s Joao Felix was named the winner of the 2019 award, while Fati’s Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi picked up the trophy back in 2005.
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Ansu and Haaland Head Star-Studded List
There’s no doubt that Fati and Borussia Dortmund duo Erling Braut Haaland and Jadon Sancho will be the big favorites to be named the winner of the 2020 award.
Fati has enjoyed a stellar season at the Camp Nou. He broke into the first team at the start of the season at the age of 16 and has already written his name into the history books after breaking several records.
The forward has also become the youngest scorer in Champions League history and is on course to win the league title this season with Barcelona. The club are top of the league with 10 games left to play.
Meanwhile, Haaland has also stolen the headlines after a phenomenal campaign. The Norwegian striker was snapped up by Dortmund in December after scoring 16 goals in 14 appearances for Red Bull Salzburg.
The 19-year-old has continued to impress in the Bundesliga and has 11 goals in 12 outings for Dortmund since his move, including a stoppage-time winner on Saturday to beat Fortuna Dusseldorf.
England international Sancho is also thriving with the German club. The former Manchester City man only turned 20 in March but has 17 goals and 16 assists from 29 league appearances in 2019-20.
Barcelona Fending Off Interest in Fati
Fati’s heroics this season have not gone unnoticed around Europe. Premier League giants Manchester United offered €100 million for the teenager but saw their huge bid rejected, according to Lluis Miguelsanz at Sport.
Barcelona director Xavier Vilajoana has since come out and made it clear the Catalans have no interest in selling one of their top youngsters in an interview with Sport’s German Bona.
“For us, there’s no story with Ansu, we have never spoken about selling him. We won’t use players from the academy to make cash. In principle, we have no intention of selling the players we believe will make the first team.”
Fati is likely to attract more interest if he can continue to impress at the Camp Nou, while winning the Golden Boy Award would also cement his burgeoning reputation in the game.