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Hojbjerg & Gaudino

FCB pair nominated for top U-21 award

Two Bayern youngsters and the entire youth development operation at the club have been greatly honoured by the nomination of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Gianluca Gaudino for the so-called Golden Boy Award, which recognises the best up-and-coming Under-21 players in Europe. Julian Green, currently on loan from Bayern to Hamburger SV is another FCB junior team youth product on the 40-strong longlist.

Fellow Bundesliga starlets Hakan Calhanoglu (Bayer Leverkusen), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Dortmund) and Max Meyer (Schalke) are also among the candidates. Well-known contenders from elsewhere on the continent include Luke Shaw and Adnan Januzaj of Manchester United, Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Divock Origi (OSC Lille) and Munir El Haddadi (Barcelona).

The award, initiated by Italian sports daily Tuttosport in 2003, involves a poll of football journalists around Europe. The winner will be announced next Saturday. The solitary German winner to date was Mario Götze in 2011.