Double celebration for Madrid as Bellingham and Linda win the Golden Boy and Girl Award
The Real Madrid Jude Bellingham received the Golden Boy award in Turin this evening Monday - the award that Italian newspaper Tuttosport traditionally assigns to the best Under-21 player in Europe. The Real Madrid player continues LaLiga’s run of awards, following on from Pedri, who won it in 2021, and Gavi last year. Curiously, he also becomes the first Real Madrid player to receive it.
Madrid fans had, even more, to celebrate as Linda Caicedo picked up the Golden Girl 2023, while Barça’s achievements were also recognised with the Golden Player Woman going to Aitana Bonmatí and Lamine Yamal awarded The Youngest 2023 accolade.
Bellingham, the winner with 485 votes out of 500 (a record), received his award from Massimo Franchi at the end of the two-hour gala. In his acceptance speech, Jude explained how thrilled he is to now be in the company of some of the game’s greats: “I am thoroughly enjoying the honor of joining this prestigious group of footballers - The Golden Boys. I have worked with great players since I started, in Birmingham Academy, for which I was incredibly lucky. I always felt the responsibility of guiding the team to victory.”
When asked about those who already consider him the best in the world, he responded humbly: “It’s nice to hear it, but I don’t agree, to be honest. Now I am focused on improving game after game.” For Bellingham, joining Real Madrid was the key to his growth: “It is the best club in the world; it has been great luck for me to be able to get there - not everyone gets to do that. Expectations, at a club like Madrid and in a national team like England, are always very high. I’m not going to promise anything, but I can say that I will give my all.”
Real Madrid’s Linda Caicedo also had other commitments which impeded her from collecting the Golden Girl 2023 award but she sent a message: “I would like to thank everyone and congratulate all of the other nominees - especially Bellingham for the season they’ve had. It would have been an honor to be there tonight, but injury prevents me from doing so, and I thank [Real Madrid Director of Institutional Relations] Emilio Butragueño for receiving it on my behalf, I couldn’t be better represented. I thank everyone who believed in me - Real Madrid, without whom all this would not have been possible, the Colombia national team, my family, and my partner.”
Butragueño congratulated the player on receiving it on her behalf and said: “She is extraordinary, she shows it in our club and with Colombia. She is a fundamental footballer for our present and our future, we want to grow as an entity and contribute to the growth of football. “We are proud to have a player of her level.”