Joao Felix tops Jadon Sancho for Golden Boy award

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Atletico Madrid youngster Joao Felix has won the 2019 Golden Boy award as the best player in Europe under 21 years old.

The award, given out by Italian publication Tuttosport, saw Felix edge Borussia Dortmund attacker Jadon Sancho and Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz among its top three vote-getters.

Felix scored 18 goals for Benfica last season while assisting 10 more, before a massive $138 million move to Atletico Madrid. The Portuguese international has not burst off the page at his new club just yet, with just two goals and an assist through 10 league games while struggling with an ankle injury.

“I am very proud,” said Felix. “It is the second time that a player from Atletico Madrid has won this award and I am happy.”

Sancho finished second in the voting after a 2019 calendar year that saw him score 12 goals and assist 19 more for Borussia Dortmund. The England international started this season strong, scoring three goals and assisting five more in the first five league goals of the campaign, elevating Dortmund to an early title challenge. Since, however, they have fallen off the table, currently sitting sixth with a five-point gap off the top.

Phil Foden and Mason Mount were among the 20-man list of nominees that also included Matteo Guendouzi and Moise Kean. Last year’s award was won by defender Matthijs de Ligt, while Kylian Mbappe took home the honors in 2017.