The nominees for the annual Golden Boy award, selected by Italian newspaper Tuttosport and ultimately bestowed upon Europe’s best footballer aged under 21, are out. Among the boys are Tottenham’s Dele Alli, Bayern Munich’s Kingsley Coman, Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele and Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford.
Previous winners of the award include Anthony Martial in 2015, Raheem Sterling in 2014 and Paul Pogba in 2013.
What’s the common denominator between all these footballers? None of them are named Christian Pulisic.
In an award given to Europe’s most promising U-21 player, not including the 18-year-old 'Merican playmaker is something akin to high treason. However, there are two extremely plausible reasons for his striking omission.
The first reason is that Christian Pulisic isn’t really a boy. While media outlets are quick to label him as a ‘phenom’ or ‘wonderteen’, the truth of the matter is that he’s a man-child. Just ask Bolivia or Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. They’ll tell you that that was no boy they faced.
Hell, ask VfB Stuttgart, Manchester City or Real Madrid. This is just a grown-ass man that happens to like Justin Bieber’s music.
I mean, just look at these stats! I can’t make any sense whatsoever of this kind of chart, but I’m pretty sure it’s impressive. I’ll let you be the judge. I’m sure you’re a better judge than Tuttosport.
The second reason behind his exclusion might go hand in hand with The Telegraph’s 10-month investigation into corruption in football, the one that landed Big Sam in trouble.
Now, I don’t want to meander into libelous territory here, but there’s something fishy about leaving off a player who the Bundesliga have labelled a “young hero”. This stinks of unscrupulousness, which is a very pungent stench.
So Pulisic won’t be named the 2016 Golden Boy. Mind you, he could scoop the award in 2017, 2018 or 2019, but I’m uncertain as to whether or not you can be awarded the Ballon d’Or and the Golden Boy simultaneously.
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