Atletico Madrid youngster Joao Felix, who became one of the most expensive signings in football history when he moved from Benfica in the summer for €126 million, won the 2019 Golden Boy award as the most talented player aged 21 or under.
With 332 votes, the 20-year-old beat Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho (175 votes) and Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz (75 votes) for the annual prize.
Matthijs de Ligt and Kylian Mbappe were excluded from this year’s last because they already won the award (in 2018 and 2017, respectively).
Italian newspaper Tuttosport founded the Golden Boy award in 2003. The last Atletico player to earn the honors was Sergio Aguero in 2007.
Felix came through Benfica’s academy and quickly stole headlines with a hat-trick in the Europa League last season. He recorded 15 goals and seven assists in 26 league appearances as Benfica claimed the Primeira Liga title by two points.
When he joined Atletico in July, he became the third-most expensive player of all time behind Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar (€222 million) and Mbappe (€180 million).
An ankle injury has limited Felix to just two goals in 10 La Liga matches thus far.