The results of the 2020 Golden Boy Award were announced today and are something of a kick in the teeth for Manchester United fans.
The annual prize, awarded by Italian newspaper Tuttosport, is given to the best player aged 21 or under from a top-tier league in Europe. Voting is made by the newspapers Bild (Germany), Blick (Switzerland), A Bola (Portugal), l’Équipe (France), France Football (France), Marca (Spain), Mundo Deportivo (Spain), Ta Nea (Greece), Sport Express (Russia), De Telegraaf (Netherlands) and The Times (United Kingdom).
Each paper nominates five players, giving 10 points to the player that they consider the most impressive, 7 for second, 5 third, 3 fourth, and 1 point for fifth.
The first ‘ouch’ for United fans is that the award has been won by Norwegian striker Erling Haaland, who snubbed the Red Devils and close family friend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the last minute to join Borussia Dortmund in the January transfer window.
Haaland was the runaway winner with 302 points and leaves fans with a feeling of what could have been had he chosen to join United.
— utdreport (@utdreport) November 21, 2020
Another sore point for United was that this summer’s failed transfer target, Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, came fourth with 80 points.
The other disappointing aspect of the award is the lowly 12th place of Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood with only seven points.
It was expected that the 19-year-old would fare much better, but he was beaten by the likes of Manchester City’s Ferran Torres (8), Arsenal’s Buykayo Saka (13), Salzburg’s Dominik Szoboszlai (13), Man City’s Phil Foden (36) and Juventus’ Dejan Kulusevski (41).
Barcelona’s Ansu Fati came second and also won the Internet referendum known as ‘the Web Golden Boy’, which is the player with the most public votes.
United have had some world class goalkeepers over the years and some entertaining ones too. Take our quiz below to find out how much you know about United’s number 1’s, past and present.