One of the most luxurious hotels on the seafront in Sicily, ideal conditions, many journalists from various influential European media, a precise press conference: the organization of the Golden Boy has done it all this Friday in Palermo (Italy), on the occasion from the Golden Boy Awards. This setup leaves nothing to chance. The 2022 edition of the Golden Boy is of special importance, since it is the 20th anniversary of this prestigious trophy that rewards each year the best player under 21 in Europe and created in 2003 by our Italian colleagues from tuttusport.
Hello #GAVI 👋 and thank you ❤️
— Golden Boy (@GoldenBoyAwards) October 21, 2022
“I have seen our prize grow in 20 years, becoming an attraction for fans around the world and one that players dream of too.underlines in this respect Guido Vaciago, director of tuttosportwhile the number of votes (which will close on October 31 for this year) on the Italian media site has increased from 56,000 in 2016 to more than 1,200,000 in 2022. Many great players have won this trophy. It’s great to hear them say “my dream was to win the Golden Boy.” It’s fantastic for us. We are proud and happy to celebrate such an important anniversary. »
More visibility and coverage to go to another dimension
For the occasion, the organizers of the event did everything possible, with a simple long-term goal: to shine more and more internationally. The creation of a press service has helped give more visibility to this year’s Golden Boy, a trophy won by Barça’s Spanish midfielder, Gavi (18). At least while waiting for the big ceremony, which will take place on November 7 in Turin, and where the cream of world football will be present.
—Lucas Billard (@LucasBillard6) October 21, 2022
Make your mouth water, give flavor, that is what Simone Rovera, the best-known Italian journalist in France, has tried to do, despite having joined the Golden Boy staff, despite a delicate context. “It was complicated in terms of organization (besides the air traffic controllers’ strike, editor’s note), planning. The Ballon d’Or was scheduled for October, so doing it earlier, in September, would have been complicated. But then also how is the World Cup at the end of the year. We had to adapt. »
Massimo Franco: “The Kop(ia) trophy? It is a shame ! »
The establishment of the Kopa Trophy, as part of the Ballon d’Or ceremony, also interfered with the Golden Boy. “The Kop(i)a trophy? I was told that a few years ago someone tried to make an alternative Golden Boy… I don’t know, jokes Massimo Franchi, founder of Golden Boy, in very fluent French, before continuing with a more serious tone. It is a trophy that has been shamefully copied, without even asking us or informing us… The Golden Boy was born in 2003. The other was born more than 15 years late. Our Trophy is made thanks to the votes of 50 prestigious journalists. We are in the style of the Champions League, with all due respect for the smaller countries. »
That is why it was necessary to change the strategy of the Italian newspaper, although the organizers trust the way football fans look at their trophy. “The Kopa Trophy is recent. People give more importance to the Golden Boy, who has already awarded Messi, Haaland…”analyzes Simone Rovera, who also hopes that the ceremony that will officially crown Gavi this year will end up becoming “A meeting place, for business, where the different clubs can meet. »
The Golden Boy wants to take the dimension of the Ballon d’Or
The Golden Boy (be careful not to confuse the Absolute Golden Boy, like Gavi, chosen by journalists, and the Web Golden Boy, chosen by Internet users and whose name will be revealed on November 7 in Turin), now has an aura international and is the pride of the organizers. “Everything has changed for us. We started with 30 journalists from the most important media in each country, a bit like the Champions League. We went to 40, then 50. The Golden Boy, it started a bit by chance. But today, look what Gavi had to say: It’s a player’s pride to win the Golden Boy. It’s a great price. Everyone knows this trophy, where, a few years ago, it was not necessarily the case.welcomes Massimo Franchi.
—Lucas Billard (@LucasBillard6) October 21, 2022
The man behind the Golden Boy, who handed out Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabregas, Mario Balotelli, Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappé and even Erling Haaland in particular, also told us that he still had high ambitions for this award. “We want the Niño de Oro, in the future, to have almost the same importance, only with an age limit, than the Ballon d’Or. » And Massimo Franchi to make a last small entry of which he has the secret as a conclusion. “Given the current talent of the Golden Boy hopefuls (Bellingham, Camavinga, Gavi, etc.), if they were smart (the Ballon d’Or organisers) they would have created a trophy for the under-20s. Maybe we’ll change it… (laughs). » Not being able to change, the Golden Boy intends to take on even more thickness. The final bouquet of this 20th edition promises an anniversary worthy of the name.
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