(Photo credit: InsideSpanishFootball.com)
Nine La Liga players have been nominated to receive the prestigious Italian award that highlights young talent in Europe.
On Saturday, Italian newspaper, Tuttosport, released the list of the 40 official nominees for its tenth annual Golden Boy award, which honors the best under-21 player in Europe.
Each candidate must be an active in a first division European league and born after 1 January 1992. 30 journalists from the top sporting publications across continent, such as Le Équipe, Marca, A Bola, Bild, The Times, De Telegraaf, Mundo Deportivo, France Football, Sport Express, Blick and Ta Nea, will vote on the winner to be announced in December in Turin, Italy.
The nominees include Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid), Gerard Deulofeu (Barcelona B), Isco (Málaga CF), Jesé (Real Madrid Castilla), Koke (Atletico Madrid) Samuele Longo (RCD Espanyol), Iker Muniain (Athletic Bilbao), Joel Campbell (Real Betis) and Raphael Varane (Real Madrid CF).
The winner will join the likes of past recipients such as Rafael van der Vaart, Wayne Rooney, Lionel Messi, Cesc Fàbregas, Sergio Agüero, Anderson, Alexandre Pato, and Mario Balotelli.
German midfield Mario Götze, the 2011 Golden Boy award winner, has been nominated again this year for his work with Borussia Dortmund.
The full list of nominees can be found here.
This article was originally published on InsideSpanishFootball.com on Oct. 29, 2012.