Real Madrid and England star Jude Bellingham has won the 2023 Kopa Trophy, beating a host of wonderkids to the prestigious award.
Bellingham scored his first goal for the Three Lions at the 2022 World Cup and nearly inspired Borussia Dortmund to their first Bundesliga title since 2012 before a collapse at the end of the 2022/23 season.
The 20-year-old has since joined Real Madrid and furthered his superstar status by scoring 13 goals in his first 13 games for Los Blancos, most recently delivering a double to help his side beat Barcelona in El Clasico.
Bellingham saw off club teammate Eduardo Camavinga, Barcelona duo Pedri and Gavi and Germany starlet Jamal Musiala among others to scoop the gong. Pedri and Gavi had won the Kopa Trophy in 2021 and 2022 respectively.
The former Birmingham midfielder is also widely expected to win the 2023 Golden Boy award – handed out by Italian publication Tuttosport – in a little under two weeks’ time.
Bellingham has become the first English winner of the award, having come second to Pedri two years ago. Manchester United outcast Jadon Sancho finished as runner-up in 2019, when Matthijs de Ligt was crowned the best young player in the world.
He was also among the nominees for the Ballon d’Or award, finishing in 18th place, just one ahead of England teammate Harry Kane. That prize is expected to be claimed by Lionel Messi this year, but Bellingham could be among the favourites when it is given out next in 2024.
READ MORE ON THE 2023 BALLON D’OR NOMINATIONS AND PREDICTED RANKINGS