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Top 20 golden boy ranking (2024)

This season has truly been a showcase of emerging talent across Europe’s top football clubs. From the electrifying performances of Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo at Manchester United to the dazzling displays of Mathys Tel at Bayern Munich, the footballing world has been treated to a spectacle of young stars rising to prominence. These wonderkids have not only broken into their senior squads but have also stamped their authority, becoming indispensable figures for their respective teams.

Fans and pundits alike have been captivated by the skill, determination, and flair exhibited by these young players week after week. Their seamless integration into the senior setup has been nothing short of remarkable, and they have quickly endeared themselves to supporters with their fearless approach and ability to deliver when it matters most.

the season progresses, anticipation mounts for the prestigious Golden Boy award, which recognizes the most outstanding young player in Europe. Among the Asfrontrunners for the coveted accolade are the likes of Garnacho, Mainoo, and Tel, whose stellar performances have not gone unnoticed. Their contributions to their teams have been instrumental in shaping their clubs’ fortunes, and they have undoubtedly left a lasting impression on the footballing landscape.

With each passing match, these wonderkids continue to enhance their credentials, leaving fans eagerly awaiting what the future holds for these burgeoning talents. As they strive for excellence on the pitch, their journey towards potential Golden Boy glory serves as a testament to their hard work, dedication, and innate talent. As the race for the award heats up, one thing remains certain – the future of football is in very capable hands.

1. Lamine Yamal (16, Barcelona)

The footballing world has never seen a footballer this young having such an impact in their breakout campaign. The closest to it was Lionel Messi’s breakout for Barcelona, but even the legendary Argentine was 17 at the time. At just 16, Yamal looks at home in the Barcelona first team, brimming with confidence, creativity and end product. 

The La Masia graduate has already played 43 times this season and has been involved in 14 goals. Most importantly, at just 16, the Spaniard already plays with confidence and assuredness which is much beyond his years. He also debuted for the Spanish National Team this year.


2. Warren Zaire-Emery (18, PSG)

Despite breaking out last season, Warren Zaire-Emery has been given consistent game time only this season. The Frenchman is now an integral part of Luis Enrique’s side.

The 18-year-old is a brilliant passer, having a 91% pass success rate, and also an excellent dribbler, making him integral for breaking the opposition’s press. Warren has made 33 appearances for PSG this season and has 8 goal involvements.

3. Endrick Felipe Moreira de Sousa (***Real Madrid ****)

The 17-year-old had been on the pitch for mere moments when he tapped home the only goal of the game to give Brazil a one-nil win over England.

He became the youngest male player to score an international goal at Wembley, and followed it up a few days later with a goal against Spain.

Endrick will join Real Madrid this summer for atotal fee of more than $70 million. But just a few years ago, not everyone believed in his potential to rise to the top.


4. Savio (20, Girona)

On loan at Girona from Troyes, Savio has been the breakout star in La Liga with 10 goals and 7 assists so far. The Brazilian, already capped by this national side, is also set to join Manchester City in the upcoming transfer window. 

The 20-year-old is a perfect winger, having completed the most dribbles in the league this season, while also being very direct, making him a difficult winger to mark for a defender.


5. Joao Neves (19, Benfica)

At just 19, Joao Neves has already mastered a position which normally requires years of experience and exceptional footballing intelligence to perfect. 

The defensive-midfielder has stepped up and covered a big hole seamlessly since Enzo Fernandez’s departure to Chelsea, being an adept dribbler and a precise passer, which helps Benfica to have a reliable outlet while building up from the back.

He is also very good positionally, and takes up good positions off the ball to beat the opposition’s press.

6. Kobbie Mainoo (19, Manchester United)

Manchester United fans haven’t have a lot of reasons to smile this season, but Kobbie Mainoo’s breakout has certainly been their biggest reason to smile. Rumoured to be in the fringes of the first team during the pre-season, he started his first game of the season in November against Everton, where he was the player of the match.


7. Leny Yoro (18, Lille)

At just 18, Leny Yoro has established himself as one of the best defenders in the world already. Leading Lille’s defence, the team have conceded just 25 goals in their 28 league games. Tall, strong, and technically brilliant, Yoro is also a good passing outlet to build from the work. 

The Frenchman has already been linked to big European clubs and is tipped to be one of the best defenders in the world.

8. Pau Cubarsi (17 year old)

A centre back who provides leadership and decisiveness in defence, while also being able to bring the ball out

Pau Cubarsí arrived at La Masia from Girona on 1 July 2018 as a U12 player. The 2023/24 season was a key moment in his career as he made his competitive debut with the first team.

9. Mathys Tel (18 years old )

Mathys Henri Tel is a French professional footballer who plays as a forward for Bundesliga club Bayern Munich. Known for his pace, finishing, and creative dribbling ability, Tel has drawn comparisons to his French compatriots Kylian Mbappé and Karim Benzema. 

10. Alejandro Garnacho (19, Manchester United)

Last year was the actual breakout for Alejandro Garnacho, but this year, the Argentine has become one of the trickiest wingers in the Premier League. Possessing incredible pace, dribbling and bags of flair, Garnacho’s 12 goal involvements have been a big reason for optimism for United fans during a rather disappointing season. 

However, even more than the statistics, Garnacho provides a directness and a flair that very few possess. His overhead kick against Everton this season will be a strong contender for both the goal of the season and the Puskas Award.

11. Aleksandar Pavlović (19 years old, Bayern Munich’s )

The 19-year-old is one of the first names on the Bayern team sheet this season, and easily by one of the most important ones, too.

12. Arda Güler ( 19 years , Real Madrid)

Arda Güler is a Turkish professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for La Liga club Real Madrid and the Turkey national team. 

13 Ousmane Diomande (born 4 December 2003)

Ousmane Diomande (born 4 December 2003) is an Ivorian professional footballer who plays as a centre-back for Primeira Liga club Sporting CP and the Ivory Coast national team.

14. Samu Omorodion (20 years old, Alves )

After scoring nine times in 30 games for Alaves on his debut season in Spanish LaLiga, Samuel Omorodion is poised to join Atletico Madrid’s first team for next season barring any last-minute change, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

Atletico have high hopes for the 19-year-old they signed last summer and the expectation has been that he will be a good addition to Diego Simeone’s squad for next season, especially with Alvaro Morata, Angel Correa and Memphis Depay all linked with moves away.

The rise of Omorodion, who was born in Spain to Nigerian parents, has been one of the spectacular stories of the season following the 19-year-old forward’s loan move to Alaves from Atletico after the Los Rojiblancos activated his €6m release clause to sign him from Granada.

And while many across Spanish football appear convinced that ‘Samu’, as Omorodion is popularly known, is ready to make the step up, officials of Los Rojiblancos aren’t so sure.

15 Victor Roque (19, Fc Barcelona )

In a man of the match performance, the Brazilian scores his first goal for the blaugranes to take the win over Osasuna.

The striker who joined the club in the winter transfer market from Atletico Paranaense gave Barça victory on Wednesday against Osasuna with a good header from a Cancelo cross. A classic knee sliding celebration spoke volumes about the significance of the strike in the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys for the young striker. 

16. R. Lewis ( Manchester city )

17. Bynoe ( Dortmund)

18. Ferguson ( Brighton)

19. R. Larsson (Frankfurt)

29. Miley (Newcastle United)

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