It is an unquestionably acknowledged fact that there are not many football awards to honour the young talents. Of course there are medals for youth, to contradict the above statement, in FIFA World Cups and every major leagues shortlist a young player as the revelation of the season. But as it furnaces within the league, meaning it is highly inappropriate to compare players from different leagues, as the quality differs indeed. That is why ‘Bravo’ award stands on its own league. I not only selects the best young player in Europe, but also have justified their picks, as almost all the players shortlisted for this award have grown into global stars, instead of falling down the pecking order of history.
Bravo award is given to young players on yearly basis – It is not given for performances of a calendar year, but from Autumn to Spring. The award is handed out by a prominent sports magazine, Guerin Sportivo, who’s history goes back to 1912, and is the oldest sport magazine in the world. Legacy shows quality, and this Italian magazine is no different. More than a century, the sports magazine has succeeded in bringing the most desired results to the fans.
Bravo award is given to the most outstanding young football player in Europe. The history of this award started in 1978, and Jimmy Case of Liverpool was the first recipient. Until 1992, the award was presented considering under-23 players who have played in one of the three European cups – UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup, UEFA Cup Winner’s Cup. But the rules were modified in 1992 thus by making any Under-21 player in any of the European league, eligible for the much celebrated honour.
Although any player in European league is eligible, only three players of Non-European nationality have ended in the receiving end of the trophy – Eli Ohana of Israel, Cristiano Ronaldo of Brazil and Lionel Messi of Argentina. But it do not take away anything from the credibility of the award, and can be regarded as the best in the category.
Another imperative factor to consider the popularity of the award is how the magazine have shunned out the probability of receiving debates about the potential winners and avoided criticism in the selection criteria. The magazine have never favoured an Italian over other countrymen and has been successful in defending it’s selection.
This is also one of the least known award in football, having said that the process by which the magazine selects the winner is unbiased and is an example of serenity, which other FIFA bodies must concur. It is also notable that most of the young players who have won this, thrived to stardom while there exceptions as well, like there will be ever.
Italian Domenico Berardi won the coveted award in 2015, while Paul Pogba of France, Isco of Spain, Marco Verratti of Italy, Eden Hazard of Belgium and Thomas Muller of Germany are the recipients since the dawn of this decade.