He's 16 and he's the in-fashion player in Barcelona's first team. He can't travel abroad without authorisation from his parents, but he's been called up by Spain U21s. What's missing from Ansu Fati's first season among the elite. You would say nothing, but perhaps there is one more thing: the Golden Boy award. And the Barça forward has been named among the 20 finalists.
The prestigious prize recognises the best player in the world each year younger than 21. That Ansu is among the finalists, keeping in mind it's just two months since his debut, is crazy, a sign of the exceptional talent Barça have in their ranks. And even more so when you consider the players he's up against are already hugely important to their respective teams.
Joao Feliz, for example, joined Atletico Madrid this summer for 120 million euros. Matthijs de Ligt, who won the prize last year, joined Juventus for around 80 million, while Vinicius and Rodrygo were also big signings for Real Madrid. The presence of Donyell Malen is also interesting, too, given Barça's interest in the PSV Eindhoven forward.
The full list of finalists is:
- Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus)
- Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich)
- Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan)
- Ansu Fati (FC Barcelona)
- Phil Fodden (Manchester City)
- Matteo Guendozi (Arsenal)
- Erling Haland (RB Salzburg)
- Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen)
- Joao Felix (Atlético Madrid)
- Dejan Joveljic (Eintracht Frankfurt)
- Moise Kean (Everton)
- Kang-In Lee (Valencia)
- Andrij Lunin (Real Valladolid)
- Donyell Malen (PSV Eindhoven)
- Mason Mount (Chelsea)
- Rodrygo (Real Madrid)
- Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)
- Ferrán Torres (Valencia)
- Vinícius Jr (Real Madrid)
- Nicolò Zaniolo (Roma)