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Final 20 Golden Boy Nominees Announced

FC Barcelona wonderkid Ansu Fati could become the first African-born player to win the Golden Boy award after he was named among the 20 finalists on Tuesday, but he will face stiff competition for the title, with two Real Madrid starlets also among the nominees.

Read: Buffon Names Two Future Ballon d'Or Winners

The Golden Boy award is bestowed upon the best U21 footballer playing in the top tier of a European league by Italian publication Tuttosport in conjunction with a number of the continent's leading news outlets.

The final 20 nominees were announced on Tuesday and, bizarrely, the list includes Fati among the nominees despite the Guinea-Bissau-born forward not featuring in any of the previous voting stages for the award.

Nonetheless, Fati, who recently pledged his allegiance to Spain, would become the first African-born player to claim the Golden Boy title if he wins it this year.

The 16-year-old Barca prodigy is up against reigning Golden Boy Matthijs de Ligt, who is strongly tipped to retain his title, as well as the likes of Joao Felix, Kai Havertz and Phil Foden.

Los Blancos duo Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes are also on the shortlist.

You can view the full list of nominees below:

Former Dutch international Rafael van der Vaart was the first player to win the award, which has since been claimed by the likes of Lionel Messi, Wayne Rooney, Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappe and Raheem Sterling.

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The winner of the accolade will come from the 20 finalists who have been nominated, and you can vote for your favourite by casting your ballot on Tuttosport's official website.

Who do you think deserves to win the 2019 Golden Boy award? Let us have your thoughts by commenting in the section below.

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