The race for the prestigious Golden Boy award is on once again this year, with Alejandro Balde and Jude Bellingham emerging as strong contenders.
Bellingham missed out on the award last year, with Gavi winning the crown. And as it happens, Bellingham’s biggest adversary this year is another Barcelona youngster, in the form of Balde.
Balde falls behind in race
However, the Barcelona youngster has fallen behind in the race in the customary vote recently, but for a very unlikely reason.
In fact, Balde was leading the vote with 43% of the share, whereas Bellingham only had 30% of the votes at one point. But in a matter of minutes, Bellingham received 100,000 new votes.
This was because of an earlier comment from Balde about Taylor Swift that resurfaced on Twitter, allegedly causing her fans to vote for Bellingham.
In an interview last May, Alejandro Balde said he did not like Taylor Swift’s music, which was resurfaced by several Taylor Swift fans recently.
— Out Of Context Football (@nocontextfooty) September 5, 2023
One such account going by the username ‘Not Python’ wrote on Twitter, “Hey Swifties! We can’t let this Balde guy win the Golden Boy award. Vote for Jude Bellingham here.”
Shortly afterwards, the Real Madrid superstar received a slew of votes, which took his vote share from 30% to a whopping 89%.
Balde, in contrast, saw his vote share drop from 43% to just 8%, meaning Bellingham is now the undisputed favourite to bag the Golden Boy Award 2023, with Taylor Swift’s fans playing a major role.
It must be noted that Bellingham was indeed a strong candidate to win the trophy this year, by all merits. The youngster has started the season exceptionally well and is regarded as one of the best young midfielders in the world.
Balde, too, enjoyed an exceptional 2022/23 campaign, as he helped Barcelona win the La Liga title in his breakthrough season, quickly establishing himself as one of the best young left-backs in the game.