Italian newspaper Tuttosport on Wednesday announced the three finalists for its annual European Golden Boy award, which is presented every year to the best soccer player in Europe under the age of 21. The three finalists are: Malaga’s Spanish playmaker Isco, Atletico Madrid’s Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, and AC Milan’s Egyptian-Italian striker Stephan El Shaarawy. All three finalists are 20 years old.
Previous winners of the award, which was established in 2003, include: Rafael van der Vaart (2003), Wayne Rooney (2004), Lionel Messi (2005), Cesc Fabregas (2006), Sergio Aguero (2007), Anderson (2008), Alexandre Pato (2009), Mario Balotelli (2010) and Mario Götze (2011).
The winner of the 2012 Golden Boy will be announced the week before Christmas and will be chosen by a jury of 30 journalists from several newspapers from close to 20 European countries.