Golden Boy award for Renato Sanches
What an accolade for Bayern pro Renato Sanches! The Portugal international will be presented with the Golden Boy award for Europe's greatest talent under the age of 21 in Monte Carlo on Monday evening. Italian sports daily Tuttosport, which conducted the annual poll for the 14th time, announced its verdict on Monday.
"I'm very, very happy about the award. But I didn't win it single-handedly: I want to thank my team-mates in the Portugal squad and at my former club Benfica. This accolade is theirs too," Sanches said on FC Bayern.tv. "I'm very much looking forward to the ceremony tonight, I'll return happy."
The 19-year-old European champion won the poll conducted among sports journalists ahead of Manchester United's Marcus Rashford and fellow Munich man Kingsley Coman. Sanches succeeds Manchester United's Anthony Martial, who won the vote last year.
Tuttosport has recognised the most talented European Under-21 player since 2003. Previous winners include the likes of Lionel Messi, Wayne Rooney, Rafael van der Vaart and Paul Pogba. The only German winner to date was former Bayern pro Mario Götze in 2011.
"I know in whose footsteps I'm following. I'm pleased, but I'm also aware of the very, very high expectations people have of me. I must work hard every day and give it everything if I'm to come even close to achieving what the players who won this award before me have achieved. I hope I'll be able to reach this world-class level some day," Sanches added.