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João Félix, the big favourite to win 2019 Golden Boy award

The Atlético Madrid man is the bookies' choice to win the award for the best Under-21 player, ahead of Jadon Sancho (Dortmund) and De Ligt (Juventus).

João Félix, favorito al Golden Boy 2019

2019 has been João Félix's year and his progression may could even see him gain individual recognition before the year is out. The 19-year-old Portuguese forward is the big favourite to pick up the Golden Boy award - given by Tuttosport  to the best player under the age of 21 playing in Europe.

João Félix, who spent the first half of the year with Benfica before joining Atlético, faces competition from Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho and Juventus' Matthijs de Ligt. De Ligt won the Golden Boy award last year but it has never been won by the same player twice. At Betfair, the Portuguese player is 2.5/1 favourite to win just ahead of Sancho at 3/1 and De Ligt at 6/5. The trio are way ahead of Real Madrid's Vinicius, who is booking at 17/1. The Brazilian finished fifth in the 2018 edition.

Joao Félix on target against Real Madrid in the pres-season
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Joao Félix on target against Real Madrid in the pres-seasonJAVIER GANDULDIARIO AS

LaLiga's candidates for the 2019 Golden Boy award

Other candidates in LaLiga for this year's Golden Boy include Barcelona's Ansu Fati, who has gone from not figuring among the initial, preliminary list of 100 aspirants to being the eighth favourite for betting houses. After him, there's Real Madrid's Rodrygo in tenth, Kang-In Lee in 14th, Ferrán Torres in 16th and Lunin, 17th.

And it's not just the bookies who have João Félix as the leading candidate - Tuttosport have indicated that the young Atleti star is the player in pole position - for the 20 goals he scored in his devut season for Benfica, his big money-signing for Atlético after impressing a host of the top clubs on the continent and his first few perofmances for the rojiblancos.