Real Madrid midfielder and England international Jude Bellingham has officially been crowned as the winner of the Golden Boy award for 2023.
The annual prize is widely considered to be the most prestigious award in European football for players aged under 21.
Bellingham was announced as the winner for 2023 back in November, but was officially bestowed with the award at a ceremony in Turin on Monday evening.
The Birmingham-born sensation is no stranger to the Golden Boy committee, as he had previously been named on the shortlist in both 2021 and 2022, but lost out to Barcelona midfielders Pedri and Gavi in both of those years.
In the 2023 calendar year, however, few can argue with Bellingham’s win after a sensational year, which saw him complete a €103m move to Real Madrid in the summer transfer window.
Before that, Bellingham had spent three seasons with Borussia Dortmund, and almost helped lead the team to their first Bundesliga title in a decade, but eventually lost out to Bayern Munich in cruel fashion in the final minutes of the 2022-23 season.
The second half of 2023, however, has seen Bellingham’s stock rise even higher. The 20-year-old has 11 goals from his first 13 LaLiga appearances, plus four in four in the Champions League, taking his overall tally to 15 from 17 matches.
Club legends Cristiano Ronaldo and Alfredo De Stefano had not scored as many as Bellingham has in their first 15 matches for Los Blancos.
Bellingham and Madrid currently sit at the top of the LaLiga table after 15 matches, having only lost once all season. They also have a perfect record from their first five matches of the Champions League group stages, including a double over Napoli.