Golden Boy: Real Madrid star Jude Bellingham named 2023 winner

Tom Weber
Tom Weber
  • Updated: 17 Nov 2023 15:47 GMT
  • 4 min read
Jude Bellingham, Real Madrid
© ProShots

Jude Bellingham has won the 2023 Golden Boy award, handed out to the best U21 player in Europe annually.

Every year, respected sports journalists from around the continent vote to determine the biggest up-and-coming talent. In 2022, Barcelona wonderkid Gavi won the award, while El Clasico rival Jude Bellingham has been crowned this year's champion.

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In 2023, Bellingham almost won the Bundesliga, ultimately falling short with Borussia Dortmund on the final days of the 2022/23 season, and moved to Real Madrid for a whopping €103 million in the summer.

In Spain's capital, the 20-year-old instantly became a megastar, boasting a ridiculous goalscoring record despite being a midfielder by trade. This has led to the youngster being revered by the Los Blancos faithful and even Spanish journalists.

MORE: What is the Golden Boy award? Shortlist, rules and past winners for Europe’s best Under-21 player

Bellingham beat out stiff competition from his good friend and former England youth teammate Jamal Musiala of Bayern Munich as well as the likes of Xavi Simons, Rasmus Hojlund, Florian Wirtz and Warren Zaire-Emery. Barcelona's 16-year-old prodigy Lamine Yamal was crowned The Youngest, an award specially created to honour the youngest player under consideration for the Golden Boy award.

Bellingham's clubmate Linda Caicedo was named the Golden Girl 2023. The 18-year-old Colombian wonderkid has enjoyed a rapid rise to prominence, moving to Los Blancos in the spring and starring at the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in the summer.

Jude Bellingham
© ProShots - Jude Bellingham

Other awards

Bellingham, Caicedo and Yamal weren't the only big names to come away with silverware. A host of other honours have been handed out to players, club functionaries and even agents. As the prize is hosted by Italian newspaper Tuttosport, Atalanta centre-back Giorgio Scalvini was named the best Italian U21 player.

Juventus director Cristiano Giuntoli won the Greatest Challenge Award after helping Napoli win their first Scudetto in 33 years in 2022/23, while Arsenal sporting director Edu was named the Best European Director and Brighton owner Tony Bloom was honoured as the Best European President.

MORE: Kopa Trophy - The top 10 Under-21 players of 2023

Ali Barat of Epic Sports was named the Best Agent, having brokered, among many others, the British record deal that saw Moises Caicedo (not related to Linda) move from Brighton to Chelsea.

Erling Haaland of Man City was named the Golden Player Man, with Barcelona midfield maestro and 2023 Ballon d'Or winner Aitana Bonmati winning the women's award. Below is the list of all winners.

Other Golden Boy Award Winners

Giorgio Scalvini Best Italian Player U21 Award
Chiara Beccari Best Italian Girl Player U21 Award
Lamine Yamal The Youngest Award
Cristiano Giuntoli Greatest Challenge Award
Ali BaratBest Agent Award
Edu GasparBest European Director Award
Tony BloomBest European President Award
Erling HaalandGolden Player Man Award
Aitana BonmatiGolden Player Woman Award
Linda Caicedo Golden Girl Absolute Best Award
Jude Bellingham Golden Boy Absolute Best Award

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