Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford has been made to settle for second place in voting for the European Golden Boy award, which has been dished out to the continent’s top talent by Italian newspaper Tuttosport since 2003. This year’s edition was won by Bayern Munich’s Renato Sanches, and, if we’re being honest, it’s probably a fair decision. It’s not often an 18-year-old can claim to have won a major international tournament.
However, it will rankle a little with United, who were interested in signing Sanches from Benfica. Unfoortunately, José Mourinho’s late arrival enabled Bayern to gain the upper hand; the Bavarians were able to seal the deal for an initial €35 million, though the eventual figure, depending on how things pan out, could prove to be as much as twice that sum. When asked to comment on Sanches, Mourinho responded: “I arrived late. I signed in May, we started talking a week before, but completely out of the process. If I had arrived earlier, I’d fight for him.”
Still, plaudits should of course go to Rashford, who came within a hair's breadth of winning an award previously picked up by the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Agüero and Paul Pogba. And, admittedly, also Alexandre Pato and United midfield legend Anderson. You win some, you lose some.