Real Madrid and England star Jude Bellingham has accepted the 2023 Golden Boy award.
The former Birmingham City and Borussia Dortmund midfielder picked up the prestigious prize at a ceremony in Turin, Italy on Monday evening.
The award, established by Italian newspaper Tuttosport, is given to the best player under the age of 21 in Europe across a calendar year.
Bellingham was the heavy favourite to win the award after a stunning year for Borussia Dortmund, Madrid and the England national team.
He nearly helped Dortmund win the Bundesliga, with Edin Terzic’s side agonisingly finishing as runners-up for Bayern Munich on a dramatic final day.
Bellingham moved to Real Madrid in an £88m transfer this summer and has proved to be a revelation, scoring an incredible 15 goals in 17 games for Los Blancos.
He beat the likes of Bayern Munich midfielder Jamal Musiala and Barcelona defender Alejandro Balde to scoop the gong and becomes the first Englishman to win since Raheem Sterling in 2014.
Speaking at the ceremony, Bellingham said: “I’m proud to win the Golden Boy Award.
“My secret is the responsibility since I was a kid in the Academy. I love that.
“I want to get better every day and help Real Madrid. My focus is on that.
“Real Madrid is the best club in the world. I’m proud to play for Madrid. I want to win all the trophies with my club and England national team”
Previous winners of the award include Lionel Messi, Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe.
Speaking ahead of Monday’s ceremony, Bellingham tipped three players to follow in his footsteps and win the 2024 award.
He toldTuttosport: “I will say three names. First of all, Arda Güler, is a phenomenon, we see him training and we are delighted with him.
“Then my former teammate Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, from Borussia Dortmund. And finally, my brother Jobe.”