The award is shown to the best Under-21 player in world football and was named after former French footballer Raymond Kopa. This is just the second year of the trophy, which was last year scooped by Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe, with Christian Pulisic coming in second, while Justin Kluivert took the bronze place on the podium.
The Kopa Trophy is also a unique prize as it voted for by former Ballon d’Or winners such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Luka Modric.
Like last year, ten players have been announced on the shortlist for the award.
From the 10-man shortlist for Kopa Trophy, five are currently playing in Spain – Felix, Vinicius, Kang-in Lee, Samuel Chukwueze, and Andriy Lunin, while there are two Premier League nominees in Everton’s Moise Kean and Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi. The leading contenders for the award will be Juventus’ De Ligt, Dortmund winger Sancho and Portuguese international Felix.
As for on the international stage, seven of the ten players are from Europe, while Africa, Asia, and South America all have one nominee each for the award. The winner of the Kopa Trophee will be announced at a ceremony on December 2.
Kopa Trophy Shortlist
|Joao Felix||Atletico Madrid||Portugal|
|Jadon Sancho||Borussia Dortmund||England|
|Matthijs de Ligt||Juventus||Nederlands|
|Vinicius Junior||Real Madrid||Brazil|
|Kai Havertz||Bayer Leverkusen||Germany|
|Kang In Lee||Valencia||South Korea|
|Andriy Lunin||Real Valladolid||Ukraine|
Probable Winners for Kopa Trophy
Matthijs de Ligt
Matthijs de Ligt had a great last season (2018-19). The 2018 Golden Boy winner has always been an achiever, but even he would not have been prepared for what has happened to him since lifting that award.
De Ligt led Ajax to the Champions League semi-final, excelling against Real Madrid, Juventus and Tottenham Hotspur. He joined Juventus for this season amid speculation of interests from various clubs, including Barcelona.
The 20-year-old center-back has been a core part of Maurizio Sarri’s side in the absence of Giorgio Chiellini and is yet even to lose a match for I Bianconeri.
Those performances merit awards like the Kopa Trophy, and nobody would argue if he did lift this one, but there’s someone else about whom you could say the same.
Jadon Sancho may only be 19 years old, but he is already a global superstar. His performances with Borussia Dortmund have been utterly astounding, and the world has taken notice.
After accumulating 13 goals and 19 assists last season, Sancho has continued that good form this year, contributing to 11 goals in as many games thus far. He is and is a creative machine one of the finest young players around.
The world was gripped by Joao Felix-mania last season as the teenage forward was one of Liga NOS’ finest performers with Benfica. He racked up 20 goals and 11 assists, including a hat-trick in the Europa League quarter-final.
Joao had the choice to join any side of me any premium side elite side. This summer, but he had eventually settled for Atletico de Madrid for Eur 126 million, which is a huge amount for a newcomer.
This year, he did not have a perfect Start in Atletico Madrid. It will be very difficult for him to clinch the award. But he’ll certainly be considered. He will be out of action for few weeks after the ankle injury.
After Mattéo Guendouzi’s transfer to Arsenal in 2018, expectation from frenchman raised and he did not let down. He went from strength to strength to established himself as a critical player in the Gunners midfield.
Guendouzi, who is touted as captain after recent Xaka incident, looks like a longtime in the Gunners’ team. Guendouzi’s all-action type of play, has engaged him to a lot of, while his creative thinking and also protective recognition creates him the complete package deal. At simply twenty years aged, his ideal years are probably still in advance of him, which is a frightening possibility.
He will surely be a deserving champion of the Kopa Trophy, and it is merely a pity that there are a couple of prospects that have forced their means to the front end of the ethnicity for the honor.