Golden Boy nominees announced: Three Barcelona starlets make the list

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Barca Universal

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The nominations for the 2021 Golden Boy award are out and as many as three Barcelona youngsters have made the cut to the initial list of 100 players.

The Golden Boy award is a prestigious honour given to players under the age of 21, as voted by sports journalists from leading news organisations.

Some of the past winners of the gong include Barcelona’s very own Lionel Messi, who won it in 2005, another former La Masia product in Cesc Fabregas, although he won it with Arsenal in 2006 and the Catalans’ new summer signing, Sergio Aguero, who won the honour in 2007 while with Atletico Madrid.

And for the initial list of 100 nominees for 2021 that was released earlier today, three Barcelona players have made the cut. The three Blaugrana starlets that have been nominated are, midfielders Pedri and Ilaix Moriba as well as defender Eric Garcia.

Pedri, having returned to Barcelona after his loan spell at Las Palmas, enjoyed a stunning debut season in La Liga. Despite having been just 17 when he got his break, the teenager quickly established himself as a regular under Ronald Koeman and ended the campaign with over 50 appearances under his kitty.

Now, the 18-year-old Barcelona midfielder is strutting his stuff on the international stages with Spain in the UEFA Euro 2020. In fact, he became La Roja’s youngest-ever debutant in a major tournament when he played against Sweden on Monday.

As for Ilaix, the 18-year-old La Masia product also got his breakthrough under Koeman during the second half of the 2020/21 season and he made the most of his chances. Indeed, the midfield prodigy saw more game-time than more established names like Miralem Pjanic in the latter stages of the campaign.

Eric Garcia, meanwhile, has only arrived at Barcelona. Another La Masia product, the defender returned on a free transfer after four years with Manchester City. While he wasn’t a regular under Pep Guardiola at the Etihad, the 20-year-old has shown enough in his limited chances to earn a spot in the 100-strong list for the Golden Boy award.

Among the three, it is Pedri, who has the strongest chance of winning the award. But, he will be up against some very solid candidates in Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Ryan Gravenberch (AFC Ajax), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), among many others.

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