Kopa Trophy 2023: Nominees revealed for Ballon d'Or's best young player award

Comments (0)
Kopa Trophy Nominess GFX
Kylian Mbappe, Pedri and Gavi have previously won the prize, but who will pick it up this year at the ceremony in Paris on October 30?

It's not just the men's and women's Golden Balls that will be handed out the Ballon d'Or ceremony, as a swathe of new prizes have been added to the roster by organisers France Football. One of those is the Kopa Trophy, which is awarded to the best player under the age of 21 in the previous season.

The 2022-23 campaign saw a number of youngsters thrive at the highest level, with some of the defining moments of the campaign provided by players who are only just making their way in the game.

Previous winners of the Kopa Trophy include Kylian Mbappe, Pedri and Gavi, and with the award voted for by previous Ballon d'Or winners, it is regarded as one the biggest any young player can win.

We will have to wait until the ceremony in Paris on Monday, October 30 to find out who will walk away with the 2023 prize, but for now, here is the shortlist of nominees:

  1. Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid)

    Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid)

    No wonder Real Madrid were willing to part with €103 million (£88m/$110m) to sign him from Borussia Dortmund!

    The England sensation was magnificent for the German giants, running the midfield to fuel their Bundesliga title challenge until the final day.

    And he is off to a magnificent start in Spain, scoring a five goals in just four matches in La Liga.

  2. Gavi (Barcelona)

    Gavi (Barcelona)

    Another gem from the Barca youth academy, Gavi is an absolute joy to watch.

    He has become a stalwart in the Blaugrana midfield and it is clear the club hierarchy expect him to grow into a club legend, handing him the iconic No.6 jersey previously worn by current coach Xavi.

  3. Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich)

    Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich)

    Bayern Munich and Germany certainly have a gem on their hands in Musiala.

    He rocketed through the Bayern youth academy after joining in 2019 and has become a real first-team star. The 20-year-old is the complete package, as he showed by scoring 16 and assisting 13 last season.

  4. Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid)

    Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid)

    Camavinga is another player who is surprisingly experienced for his age. At just 20, he has featured 103 times for Real Madrid, having joined from Rennes, where he made 88 senior appearances.

    He will be a mainstay in the Madrid midfield for years to come and looks more than capable of carrying the weight that will be placed on his shoulders once Luka Modric and Toni Kroos bow out.

  5. Pedri (Barcelona)

    Pedri (Barcelona)

    It's hard to believe that Pedri is still only 20 years old. He has already made an amazing 111 senior appearances for Barcelona and been capped 18 times by Spain.

    He was a pivotal figure for the Catalan giants last season with six goals and an assist to help them go on to claim the Spanish league title.

  6. Xavi Simons (RB Leipzig)

    Xavi Simons (RB Leipzig)

    Having been signed by both Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain before he even reached senior level, Xavi Simons' talent has never been in doubt.

    Last season was his first time as a first-team regular and he certainly lived up to expectation. He was electrifying in the Eredivisie with PSV, scoring an awesome 19 goals and setting up a further 12. That convinced PSG to sign him back and loan him to RB Leipzig, where he is already off to a glorious start.

  7. Alejandro Balde (Barcelona)

    Alejandro Balde (Barcelona)

    The Spain international cemented his place as Barcelona's first-choice left-back early on last season, keeping club legend Jordi Alba out of the starting XI.

    He already has 54 senior appearances to his name for Barca and has featured five times for Spain.

  8. Antonio Silva (Benfica)

    Antonio Silva (Benfica)

    At just 19 years old, Silva has already established himself as one of the best young defenders in the world. He broke through at Benfica last season, featuring 44 times in all competitions and scoring five goals.

    It's no surprise, then, that Newcastle were following him but were told they would have to pay around €100m (£86m/$107m) to convince Benfica to sell.

  9. Rasmus Hojlund (Manchester United)
    Getty Images

    Rasmus Hojlund (Manchester United)

    Denmark international Hojlund impressed throughout his first season in Serie A with Atalanta.

    His nine goals in the Italian top-flight was enough to persuade Manchester United to lure him to the Premier League, paying a massive £72m ($92m) for him.

  10. Elye Wahi (Lens)

    Elye Wahi (Lens)

    The 20-year-old forward was a standout star for Montpellier last season, scoring an awesome 19 goals and registering five assists in Ligue 1.

    That form saw him attract interest from Chelsea and West Ham, but he opted to stay in France, joining Lens in a €35m (£30m/$38m) deal.