When the award for European soccer’s top young player is given out in December, Liverpool might have something to celebrate.
Raheem Sterling, Lazar Markovic and Divock Origi are among the 40 nominees for the 2014 European Golden Boy Award. The Liverpool trio is in contention to be recognized as Europe’s best player under the age of 21 in the calendar year.
Sterling, 19, burst into prominence in early 2014 and continued to grow throughout the year. Sterling helped Liverpool achieve a second-place finish in the Premier League in 2013-14, represented England at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and maintained his status as a key cog in Liverpool’s team during the 2014-15 season.
Markovic, 20, helped Benfica win the Primeira Liga (Portugual’s first division), Taça de Portugal (Portuguese Cup) and Taça da Liga (Portuguese League Cup), and finish runner-up in the UEFA Europa League in 2013-14. Markovic joined Liverpool in August and currently is trying to establish himself as a regular player at Anfield.
Origi, 19, emerged as a top prospect in 2014, and his performances for French club Lille helped earn him a place on Belgium’s World Cup squad. After Origi proved his ability to compete at the top level, Liverpool signed him in July and loaned him back to Lille for the 2014-15 season. Origi has continued to thrive this season, and many expect the Belgian striker to do big things in the future.
Europe’s leading newspapers will cast their votes for the European Golden Boy Award, and the winner will be revealed in December.
Nominees for the Golden Boy award:
Calum Chambers (Arsenal), Kurt Zouma (Chelsea), John Stones (Everton), Raheem Sterling, Lazar Markovic. (Liverpool), Adnan Januzaj, Luke Shaw (Manchester United), Nabil Bentaleb and Eric Dier (Tottenham), Gerard Deulofeu (Sevilla), Aymeric Laporte (Athletic Bilbao), Munir El Haddai (Barcelona), Saul Niguez (Atletico Madrid), Sandro Ramirez (Barcelona) Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo), Bernardeschi Franco (Fiorentina), Kingsley Coman (Juventus), Keita Balde Diao (Lazio), Mateo Kovacic (Inter), Hakan Calhanoglu (Bayer Leverkusen), Gianluca Gaudino (Bayern Munich), Mathias Ginter (Borussia Dortmund), Julian Green (Hamburg), Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Bayern Munich), Maximilian Meyer (Schalke), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Benjamin Mendy (Marseille), Lucas Ocampos (Monaco), Divock Origi (Lille), Adrien Rabiot (Paris Saint-Germain), Bruma (Galatasaray), Gonzalez (Basel), Arkadiusz Milik (Ajax), Alexander Mitrovic (Anderlecht), Nikola Ninkovic (Partizan Belgrade), Dennis Praet (Anderlecht), Oliver Torres (Porto), Tonny Vilhena (Feyenoord), Jetro Willems (PSV), Luka Zahovic (Maribor).
Photo by Twitter/@LFC