In 2024, the partnership between Tuttosport and Football Benchmark remains steadfast, and we are honored to continue our role as the main sponsor of the Golden Boy. Furthermore, we are delighted to unveil the Golden Boy Football Benchmark Index for the second consecutive year, spotlighting the top 100 candidates. This curated selection highlights an extraordinary wealth of talent, and we are eager to offer in-depth insights into these exceptional nominees.

With the first update of the Golden Boy Football Benchmark (GBFB) Index, the list of the top 100 Under 21 players – born on or after 1st January 2004 – playing for a European team in the top 25 UEFA first divisions has officially started the race for the European Golden Boy 2024, an award won last year by Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham.

The GBFB Index allows for constant monitoring of the players’ performances, taking into account objective data such as playing time, transfers, performances in national teams, and at their respective clubs, which determine constant variations of the GBFB index and, therefore, of the list. For further details regarding the methodology behind the Index and the criteria used in selecting players, please visit the official European Golden Boy website.

In the previous year, Jamal Musiala and Jude Bellingham emerged as standout talents within the Golden Boy candidates, with the battle for the top spot on the 100 list intensifying until the final moments. This year, it seems that a multitude of players are competing for the esteemed title, with 11 candidates already surpassing a GBFB Index of 80.

Furthermore, the impending FIFA summer events, including the Euros and Copa America, are expected to amplify the significance of players' performances, not only for their clubs but also for their respective national teams.

Let's delve into how the initial lineup evolves following the first update, which takes into account the matches played up to March 27th.

Behind the scenes of the TOP 100

At present, leading the pack with a 91.9 GBFB index is Lamine Yamal, a forward born in 2007 from FC Barcelona, who also holds the distinction of being the youngest among the candidates. Following closely are João Neves (SL Benfica) and Alejandro Garnacho (Manchester United FC). The collective Football Benchmark market value of this trio stands at €169.6 million.

The most valuable player among the top 10 is Warren Zaire-Emery, the wonderkid from Paris Saint-Germain FC in fourth position, currently valued at €68.5 million in the market. Meanwhile, Kobbie Mainoo boasts the highest market value growth, adding €25.4 million to his value since last December.

All players in the top 10 list have a GBFB Index score exceeding 81, with merely 10 points differentiating the first and tenth candidates. With both Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo on the list, Manchester United FC stands as the sole club with more than one player in the top 10.

United now joins a select group of 13 clubs, each boasting 2 players on the top 100 list. However, four clubs surpass this number, with Brighton & Hove Albion FC leading the pack with four candidates, closely followed by AFC Ajax, FC Barcelona, and RB Salzburg, each with three players.

Ligue 1 and the English Premier League emerge as the two most represented leagues, with 12 players each, followed by the Belgian Pro League (11) and La Liga (10). A notable highlight on the list is the Danish Superligaen's contribution of eight players to the top 100, surpassing the German Bundesliga (7), the Dutch Eredivisie (6), the Italian Serie A (5), and the Portuguese Primeira Liga (4).

France leads the pack among the nations represented on the list, contributing the highest number of players, totaling 13, followed by Spain in second place with 7 players, and then England and Belgium with 6 players each.

Interestingly, the list comprises only one goalkeeper, Gabriel Slonina (KAS Eupen), alongside 23 defenders, 41 midfielders, and 35 forwards.

In the summer 2023 and winter 2024 transfer windows, 34 players on the list were involved in incoming market movements. La Liga and the Pro League emerged as the most active leagues during this period, with 5 players each, while the Premier League stood out as the league with the highest market value, totaling €303.5 million.

The publication of the new Golden Boy Football Benchmark Index update is scheduled for Saturday, May 11.