The 40-man shortlist for the Golden Boy was unveiled last month.
The award was founded in 2003 and recognises Europe’s brightest talents under the age of 21. Previous winners include Wayne Rooney, Lionel Messi, Mario Balotelli, Paul Pogba and Raheem Sterling.
Dele Alli, Marcus Rashford, Kingsley Coman and Renato Sanches are all nominated for the 2016 award, with the winner announced in December.
Winning the Golden Boy is quite the seal of approval. But another, perhaps even more recognisable, appraisal would be making it onto Lionel Messi’s list of top 10 promising players in the game.
The Barcelona star, who followed up his Golden Boy success in 2005 by winning the Ballon d’Or in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015, has picked 10 youngsters to look out for.
Rather impressively, he didn’t go for the obvious choices, either. You won’t find Rashford or Alli anywhere near this list.
Check out Messi’s 10 below.
Chanathip Songkrasin | Attacking midfielder | Muangthong United | 23
Kasper Dolberg | Striker | Ajax | 19
Gabriel Boschilia | Attacking midfielder | Monaco | 20
Patrick Roberts | Winger | Celtic | 19
Jean-Kevin Augustin | Striker | Paris Saint-Germain | 19
Davide Calabria | Right back | AC Milan | 19
Nathan | Attacking midfielder | Vitesse | 20
Kekuta Manneh | Striker | Vancouver Whitecaps | 21
Alex Muyl | Winger | New York Red Bulls | 21
Nadya Karpova | Chertanovo
Backed by Messi
Messi picked 10 players with the help of Adidas as part of their ‘Backed by Messi’ series.
So not only do they get an endorsement from arguably football’s greatest ever player, but they get to wear Adidas’ new line of Messi boots, including the Messi 10/10 and 16+ Space Dust.