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What is the Kopa Trophy? Explained

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The Kopa Trophy, organised by the France Football magazine, is awarded to the best footballer of the year under the age of 21. 

Named after former France national football team midfielder Raymond Kopa, the winner of the prestigious award is selected by former Ballon d’Or recipients and given at the annual France Football ceremony along with the Ballon d’Or award.

Footballers playing outside of Europe are also eligible for the Kopa Trophy unlike the Golden Boy award, which is given only to the best U-21 footballer playing in a European nation's top tier.

Introduced in 2018, Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe won the first Kopa Trophy after he helped France clinch the FIFA World Cup that year. USA star footballer Christian Pulisic came second while Justin Kluivert, son of former Dutch football team striker Patrick Kluivert, was third.

Meanwhile, Netherlands defender Matthijs De Ligt was named the Kopa Trophy winner in 2019 while England forward Jadon Sancho was adjudged second and Portugal rising star João Félix came third.

Just like the Ballon d’Or, the Kopa Trophy had to be cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kopa Trophy winners list





Kylian Mbappe 

Paris Saint-Germain 


Matthijs De Ligt



Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic

Who are the nominees for Kopa Trophy 2021?

France Football magazine has announced the 10 nominees for the upcoming Kopa Trophy 2021. Spain midfielder Pedri, England trio of Bukayo Saka, Mason Greenwood and Jude Bellingham are on the 10-man shortlist for the award, scheduled to be announced on November 29.

Here are the Kopa Trophy 2021 nominees: 

Pedri (Spain/Barcelona)

Bukayo Saka (England/Arsenal)

Mason Greenwood (England/Manchester United)

Jude Bellingham (England/Borussia Dortmund)

Jamal Musiala (Germany/Bayern Munich)

Giovanni Reyna (USA/Borussia Dortmund)

Nuno Mendes (Portugal/Paris Saint-Germain)

Florian Wirtz (Germany/Bayer Leverkusen)

Jeremy Doku (Belgium/Rennes)

Ryan Gravenberch (Netherlands/Ajax)

Featured photo: FRANCK FIFE / AFP

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