Sterling in outrageous company…
Raheem Sterling won the Golden Boy award for 2014, and was presented with the prestigious gong for Europe’s best under-21 player before Sunday’s clash with Arsenal…
The award symbolises Sterling’s rapid progression throughout 2014, and his current role as our most important attacking player despite having only just turned 20.
Here’s the players who won it previously since it was created in 2003:
2003 – Rafael van der Vaart
The Dutch playmaker is currently with HSV, having previously enjoyed spells with Real Madrid and Tottenham.
2004 – Wayne Rooney
The only other Englishman to win the award, Rooney performed sensationally at Euro 2004, and is on course to set the all-time caps and goals record, too.
2005 – Lionel Messi
Regarded by many as the greatest footballer in the history of the game, despite being just 27-years-old.
2006 – Cesc Fabregas
Now at Chelsea, Fabregas has thrived with Arsenal, Barcelona and the Spanish national side.
2007 – Sergio Aguero
One of the best strikers in the world, and probably the best forward in the Premier League right now.
2008 – Anderson
The anomaly on this list, the Brazilian is being phased out of January, and hasn’t played a Premier League match all term.
2009 – Alex Pato
The Brazilian was rated as the best youngster in the world back in 2009, but couldn’t hack it in Europe and is now plying his trade in his homeland.
2010 – Mario Balotelli
The Italian won the award while at Manchester City, and is now with us – meaning we’ll have two Golden Boy winners in our lineup!
2011 – Mario Gotze
The brilliant German playmaker bagged the winner in the World Cup final during this summer.
2012 – Isco
Isco’s form with Malaga in 2012 earned him the bumper move to Real Madrid, where he currently stars.
2013 – Paul Pogba
The French powerhouse dominates Serie A with Juventus, and if he continues progressing at his current rate, he could feasibly collect the Ballon d’Or in the future.