Three Greeks among Golden Boy candidates
The 2018 Golden Boy competition, an award organised by Italian media outlet Tuttosport to crown the world’s most promising youngster playing in Europe, has three Greeks on its initial shortlist.
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In 2003, Tuttosport set up the Golden Boy prize in order to decide which young footballer competing in a European league has been the most impressive during the past calendar year. Previous Golden Boy winners include Wayne Rooney (2004), Lionel Messi (2005), Sergio Aguero (2007), Mario Balotelli (2010), Paul Pogba (2013) and Kylian Mbappe (2017), with the latter currently the holder. As we know, 19-year old Mbappe has proved his worth at the FIFA World Cup in Russia, steering France to the showpiece final with wonderful displays.
Online at Tuttosport’s official website, anyone can vote for their personal favourite to be crowned the Golden Boy. Leading journalists from Europe will then pick their winner towards the end of the year.
Among the 2018 Golden Boy candidates are Greece’s Giorgos Giannoutsos, Dimitris Limnios and Panagiotis Retsos. In the 2017/2018 campaign, 19-year old defender Retsos impressed with German outfit Bayer Leverkusen, catching the eye in his maiden season away from Greece. If he continues progressing, Retsos should grow into a top-class European defender and follow in the footsteps of Kostas Manolas and Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
19-year old Giannoutsos, who plays at left-back for AEK Athens, barely played any part in the Super League triumph with only one appearance, but he does boast potential which Tuttosport acknowledged. At international level, Giannoutsos has represented the under 17 and 19 Greek national teams.
PAOK winger Dimitris Limnios from Atromitos to Thessaloniki in July 2017, competing in 21 Super League matches with the Dikefalos tou Vorra. Despite often struggling with his end product, Limnios is regarded as a player for the future at 20 years of age. He is also an important player for the under 21 Greek national side and even earned a call-up to the senior Ethniki Omada in the spring.
Well-known footballers such as Luca Zidane (Real Madrid), Trent John Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Justin Bijlow (Feyenoord), Patrick Cutrone (AC Milan), Thomas Davies (Everton) and Justin Kluivert (AS Roma) are some of the leading 2018 Golden Boy candidates.