Six become three: shortlist for the 2019 Golden Boy cut as 3 Portuguese remain in contention
The shortlist for the latest edition of the prestigious Golden Boy award has been reduced, with just 40 names remaining on the list.
Previously, 8 of the 80 names on the shortlist were Portuguese, before the list was then further reduced to 60, where 6 Portuguese players remained. However, no fewer than four Portuguese have now been removed from contention, with another added to the list retrospectively, leaving just 3 Portuguese hopefuls in the battle.
Who misses out?
Benfica midfielder Gedson Fernandes was one of the names to have made the top 60 after a strong campaign with Benfica, though his lack of game time since the start of the new season through injury may well have worked against him as he fails to maintain his place on the much reduced shortlist.
Gedson’s Benfica teammate Goncalo Ramos has also been removed from contention having been part of the 60-man shortlist announced back in August, as was Porto centreback Diogo Leite.
Manchester United’s Diogo Dalot was another to have been named on the list in August, making the top 60 youngsters in European football, though the right-back is the other Portuguese player to have lost his place in the race for the prestigious award, missing out on the 40-man shortlist.
Fellow Premier League-based players Domingos Quina and Mesaque Dju of Watford and West Ham respectively failed to even make the 60-man shortlist, both instead being part of the 80-man shortlist released by Tuttosport in July, alongside Benfica’s Joao “Jota” Filipe.
Who remains in contention?
Intruigingly, though, having missed out on the 80-man shortlist back in July, let alone the 60-man shortlist released in August, Benfica’s Florentino Luis now makes the latest shorlist, while Atletico Madrid’s 120 million euro star Joao Felix also makes the cut.
The third and final Portuguese to make it onto the 40-man list is AC Milan’s new acquisition Rafael Leao, who previously had a strong season with Lille, helping them secure 2nd in Ligue 1 and, with it, a Champions League group stage berth.