Ballon d'Or's answer to the Golden Boy Award - Kopa Trophy

Josip Brajkovic
Josip Brajkovic
Published: 25.7.2023.


Managing to monopolize the individual award market in football with its Ballon d'Or, France Football had its reign on the major aspect of the game for long. Yet an Italian magazine Tuttosport has done the same in the echelon of individual awards for young footballers with their Golden Boy award. Running since 2003.

Even though France Football is a member of the voting panel, the magazine decided to start with its own award for the best players under the age of 21, starting in the year 2018. Named after the French footballer Raymond Kopa, a former player of Anges, Reims, and Real Madrid.

Most notably, the Kopa Trophy has a lot of legacy strength because its jury consists of past Ballon d'Or winners!

Gavi won the Golden Boy award and received the Kopa Trophy, awarded by France Football during the 2022 Ballon d'Or ceremony.

That is, the 33 men who were awarded the most prestigious individual awards for footballing excellence and are still alive make up the choosing panel!
Making it perhaps even more legitimate than the voting for the Ballon d'Or itself. Done by national team managers and captains, alongside journalists.

Of the nine or 10 players selected as viable depending on individual and team performances, talent and fair play, the jurors pick three giving them five, three, or one point.

Kopa Trophy vs Golden Boy

The Golden Boy award has already established a rocky renome with a mediocre hit rate on their 19 years of awarding. With Anderson (Manchester United) fizzling out, Alexandre Pato seeing his career ruined by injuries, Mario Balotelli taking a nose dive. Although Paul Pogba, Raheem Sterling, Anthony Martial and Renato Sanches all don't look like the players that should be named the best of the best.

Certainly not on the calibre of Wayne Rooney, Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, or Cesc Fabregas. France Football's Kopa Trophy has had only four iterations and its seemingly a lock for the first-placed winners to be world-class in the future.

The inagural year - 2018 - was won by Kylian Mbappe.

Coming in second in the voting was Christian Pulisic, while the now seemingly forgotten Justin Kluivert was third.

The following year - 2019 - saw Matthijs de Ligt take first place. Edging out Jadon Sancho and Joao Felix.

In the year 2020, same as for the Ballon d'Or, the award wasn't given out.

The year 2021 saw Barcelona's star Pedri win the award handily, beating out Bundesliga prospects Jude Bellingham and Jamal Musiala.

While in 2022, Pedri's partner in crime Gavi won, beating out Eduardo Camavinga and Jamal Musiala both.

Pedri, Gavi, Matthijs de Ligt and Kylian Mbappe were all winners of the Tuttosport's Golden Boy awards as well, although for the two latter the wins came in years prior to the Kopa Award.

With precision in predicting the top players of the future, Kopa Award has the potential to become the primary award for young players. The Ballon d'Or for the young. Especially considering that Cristiano Ronaldo, Leo Messi, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Kaka, Luka Modric, Pavel Nedved, Roberto Baggio and others are giving out the actual award.



Share this article?
Facebook Twitter Linkedin

Send it to your friends
Viber Whatsapp Facebook Telegram

Love what you're reading? Subscribe to our newsletter and have our articles delivered straight to your inbox, ensuring you never miss out on the latest updates.

Read These Next