With Kylian Mbappe somewhat surprisingly not making the final shortlist for this year's Golden Boy award, the reason for his snub this time around – something Lionel Messi also experienced years back – has now been explained.
Click through the gallery above to see the five 2018 Golden Boy finalists.
On Tuesday, the five-man shortlist for this year's Golden Boy award was announced by Tuttosport, leaving many wondering why last year's winner Mbappe was not among the finalists this time around.
Massimo Franchi, who oversees the famous award for the best U21 Player of the Year, has now explained that the 19-year-old – similar to Messi before – has already grown too much in stature to be in the running for this year's award.
"The philosophy is to launch one new face each year," Franchi told ESPN.
"This started with Messi in 2005 – we couldn't just vote Messi each year, even if he was still young enough for the Golden Boy.
"It is always an important prize, but he (Mbappe) is out of the running to win this. One month after he won the Golden Boy last year, he came seventh for the Ballon d'Or and he'd only won a Ligue 1 with Monaco.
"Now he's won the World Cup, starred for Paris Saint-Germain and is worthy of winning the Ballon d'Or, so there is no need for him to go back and win the Golden Boy again.
"That's why Messi and Rooney didn't get it a second time either."
Controversy arose after Mbappe was included on the initial shortlist and then cut ahead of the final announcement, and Franchi has explained why Tuttosport used this method.
"We inserted him in the (initial list of) candidates because he is still in the right age group, and also because we have an online vote," he added.
"It's then up to the jury and there is no rule which says he can't (win again), but it's like a university graduate who is then asked to go back to college for another exam. He's moved to the next level."
The 2018 Golden Boy will decided by a jury of 30 renowned European journalists and the winner will be announced on 17 December.
Do you agree with why Mbappe was snubbed? Which of the five finalists should be crowned this year's Golden Boy? Have your say in the comments section below.