Bayern Munich‘s Renato Sanches was crowned the 2016 Golden Boy on Monday.
The award was established by Italian paper Tuttosport and includes nominees under the age of 21 who play in Europe’s top competitions.
19-year-old Portuguese midfielder Sanches won this year’s edition, ahead of Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford, and Bayern teammate Kingsley Coman.
But what have past Golden Boy winners, before Sanches, achieved since they won their award?
Rafael van der Vaart, who won the inaugural award with Ajax in 2003, enjoyed a fairly successful career with such clubs as Hamburg, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur, and was a key player for Holland over the better part of a decade.
We all know about the career of 2004 winner Wayne Rooney, who currently captains both Manchester United and England, while Barcelona‘s 2005 top boy Lionel Messi is now rated as one of the world’s finest players and has been since his win 11 years ago.
Cesc Fabregas, who took it out in 2006, remains a sublime operator with Chelsea after stellar stints with Arsenal and Barca and Sergio Aguero, the 2007 young champ, is now classified as one of the world’s most dangerous strikers due to his exploits with Atletico Madrid and now Manchester City.
2008 winner Anderson came to United with great expectations but left having flattered to deceive and now finds himself back in Brazil with Internacional.
His fellow Brazilian Alexandre Pato is attempting to resurrect his career in Spain with Villarreal after dropping off at AC Milan and subsequently struggling back home at Corinthians before showing some semblance of form at Sao Paulo, prior to a short stint at Chelsea.
We have all kept up with the career of Italian firebrand Mario Balotelli, who appears to have settled in France with Nice, following turbulent times at Inter Milan, Man City and Liverpool, while 2011 winner Mario Gotze, who won Germany the 2014 World Cup, has returned to Borussia Dortmund following a difficult time at Bayern Munich.
Isco has been regularly around the Real Madrid first-team since triumphing with Malaga and is slowly beginning to flourish under Zinedine Zidane, although there have been rumours regarding his future at the club, while 2013 winner Paul Pogba is back with United after becoming the world’s most expensive player at Juventus.
2014 champ Raheem Sterling continues to develop his game under Pep Guardiola at Man City, after winning the gong at Liverpool, and France and Man United forward Anthony Martial remains one of the world’s most talented attackers since he took out last year’s prize.
Past Golden Boy winners
2003 – Rafael van der Vaart
2004 – Wayne Rooney
2005 – Lionel Messi
2006 – Cesc Fabregas
2007 – Sergio Aguero
2008 – Anderson
2009 – Alexandre Pato
2010 – Mario Balotelli
2011 – Mario Gotze
2012 – Isco
2013 – Paul Pogba
2014 – Raheem Sterling
2015 – Anthony Martial
2016 – Renato Sanches