NXGN winners: Where are they now?
- The NXGN award is given to the year’s best young players across Europe
- The winner of this award is the highest-ranked player in each season’s ranking
- The Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham is the most recent NXGN award winner
Since 2015-16, Goal has rated the 50 greatest players aged 19 and under in each season. The ‘NXGN’ list contains the names of the world’s greatest and largest rising stars in football.
The NXGN winner is the highest-ranked player in each season’s ranking. Seven players have received the honour over the decades, and we take a look at how they performed and where they are today.
Youri Tielemens (2015–2016)
Youri Tielemans is presently playing for Leicester City. The Belgian received his first NXGN award while playing for Anderlecht in his home country.
A year later, the midfielder went for AS Monaco, proving himself as one of Europe’s most talented midfielders, prompting Leicester to sign him on loan, eventually making him a permanent signing.
He enjoyed three productive seasons with Leicester and, with only one year remaining on his contract, is set to leave this summer.
Gianluigi Donnarumma (2016–2017)
Paris Saint-Germain presently has goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. The AC Milan youngster then won the NXGN prize during his early life with the Italian club, becoming the second-youngest goalie to make his Serie A start.
Since then, he has made almost 200 appearances for AC Milan before moving as a free agent to PSG, where he is anticipated to play for many years.
Justin Kluivert (2017–2018)
During his tenure at Ajax, the Dutch player won the NXGN award. His set skills in the Netherlands prompted AS Roma to pay him €18.75 million
Although Kluivert became the youngest club player at Roma to score in the UEFA Champions League, his time at the club has not been fruitful.
The 23-year-old has been with the German club RB Leipzig for two seasons on loan, where he scored four goals in 27 appearances, while at Nice in France, where he scored six goals in 31 games.
Jadon Sancho (2018–2019)
The Manchester United winger Jadon Sancho won the NXGN title in the 2018/19 season as a result of his outstanding efforts for Borussia Dortmund. He lit up the league, and his efforts were repaid with an England call-up.
The winger has subsequently joined Manchester United, where he has had a disappointing debut season.
The 22-year-old appears to have recovered his magic under new United manager Erik ten Hag, who has been impressive in the pre-season tour this summer.
Rodrygo cost Real Madrid $45.6 million to sign the inexperienced youngster from a Braziliancubl Santos FC.
Despite the financial burden on his youthful shoulders, the Brazilian scored within a minute of his first appearance to show supporters his abilities.
Rodrygo scored a hat trick in a Champions League match, earning him the second-youngest soccer player in the tournament’s history to achieve a hat-trick.
During his first season, he appeared in 19 games and scored two goals. His influence in the squad has grown with every season, with Carlo Ancelotti calling him one of the team’s most vital players right now.
Ansu Fati (2020–2021)
‘The Guinea-Bissau international but Spanish-born footballer who now plays for FC Barcelona. His talent made him the youngest scorer in the club history and third in Laliga at 16.
He is also the league’s youngest player to score as well as provide an assist in the same game. He’s broken several records since then, indicating that he’s a talented player going higher each passing season.
In his brief career, conditions have suited the 19-year-old, an NXGN winner in 2020-21. With Lionel Messi’s sudden exit and the return of Xavi Hernandez as a coach. The forward has cemented himself among the squad’s first names.
Jude Bellingham (2021–2022)
The 19-year-old is the most recent NXGN award winner. Bellingham rose to prominence at the Championship club Birmingham City FC. At 16, In August 2019, he made his debut for the club In August 2019.
Borussia Dortmund acquired the English man for £25 million in 2020, disregarding various performance-related conditions.
As a result of the transaction, he became the most valuable 17-year-old in history. The youngster became the club’s youngest ever scorer.
Following the departure of Erling Haaland, the NXGN award has become Dortmund’s most significant player, having made more than 60 match appearances.