Joao Felix wins Golden Boy award, beats Jadon Sancho

Joao Felix has been voted the winner of the 2019 Golden Boy award by a panel of 40 journalists ahead of Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho.

Atletico Madrid star Joao Felix.   -  Getty Images

Atletico Madrid star Joao Felix has been voted the world's best under-21 player after winning the 2019 Golden Boy award, beating Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho.

Portugal international Joao Felix broke into the Benfica first-team last season and swiftly became a fixture in the side, impressing with his athleticism, ability on the ball and strong finishing skills, earning comparisons with Brazil and Milan great Kaka.

He finished the 2018-19 season with 15 Primeira Liga goals from just 21 starts and featured for Portugal in its Nations League triumph.

Joao Felix's form understandably led to transfer speculation and, although several of Europe's biggest clubs were said to be interested, Atletico got a €126million deal over the line in July as it identified him as its ideal replacement for Antoine Griezmann.

Although the attacker is yet to light up La Liga having scored two goals and set up one more in 10 appearances, a panel of 40 journalists voted Joao Felix as the winner of the Tuttosport award, making him the first Atletico player since Sergio Aguero in 2007 to take the gong home.

Joao Felix highlighted the impact of Benfica coach Bruno Lage in his acceptance speech.

He told the Italian publication: "Thanks to Tuttosport for the Golden Boy Award 2019, I am very proud.

"It is the second time that a player from Atletico Madrid has won this award and I am happy.

"Thanks also to Benfica, in particular to coach Bruno Lage, for all he has done for me and my family."

Joao Felix received 332 voting points to take the crown, with England talent Sancho finishing runner-up with 175 marks despite arguably having a more consistent year. Kai Havertz was third with 75.

The 20-year-old award winner - who returned to action on Saturday after a month out injured - follows Matthijs de Ligt, Kylian Mbappe and compatriot Renato Sanches in being named the Golden Boy, an accolade a player can only win once.

  Dugout videos