Jude Bellingham wins 2023 Golden Boy award


Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham has been crowned the 2023 Golden Boy, the award given by sports journalists to the best player in football under the age of 21 over the past calendar year in Europe’s top flight competition. 

Bellingham has been even better than advertised following his blockbuster move from Borussia Dortmund to the Santiago Bernabéu this summer. The England international has taken LALIGA EA SPORTS by storm, and is currently atop the league’s goalscoring charts with 10 goals in 11 appearances – including a match-winning brace in ELCLASICO. Only Antoine Griezmann (six) has netted more match-winning goals than 20-year-old Bellingham (five), who is also the player with the most goals scored away from home (seven) in the league thus far.

Featuring in a playmaking role behind the two forwards in Ancelotti’s newly-introduced 4-4-2 formation, Bellingham has stood out, always in the right place at the right time. Having scored over 35% of Real Madrid’s goals so far, the prodigious midfielder has demonstrated that he’s already an extremely important cog in Ancelotti’s well-oiled machine.

Bellingham has received widespread praise for his performances this season and took home the Kopa Trophy at last month’s Ballon d’Or awards for the best performing player under the age of 21. Just this week, LALIGA president Javier Tebas described his performances as being “from a different planet,” while last month Real Madrid legend Iker Casillas said that “it’s not easy to move to a new league and a new country like he has, but his start to life at the club has been absolutely fantastic so far.”

The Englishman is the seventh LALIGA player to win the award since its inception in 2003, making LALIGA the league with the most winners, and follows in the foosteps of FC Barcelona’s Pedri (2021) and Gavi (2022) to make it a ‘three-peat’ for Spanish clubs. Previous LALIGA winners include Lionel Messi for FC Barcelona (2005), Sergio Agüero for Atlético de Madrid (2007), and Isco for Malaga CF (2012), before Pedri, Gavi and Bellingham. 

Elsewhere in LALIGA, FC Barcelona’s 16-year-old Lamine Yamal is the first-ever recipient of The Youngest 2023, honouring the youngest-ever player to appear on the Golden Boy podium. Yamal has been a revelation this season, becoming the youngest player to appear in ELCLASICO, the youngest player to ever debut and score for the Spanish national team, and playing in each of his side’s LALIGA EA SPORTS and Champions League matches so far. 

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