Nigerian youngsters, Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi, have been nominated alongside 38 others for this year’s edition of the UEFA Golden Boy award.
Established in 2003 by top Italian newspaper Tuttosport, the UEFA award is for the best player in Europe under the age of 21 for the calendar year, the winner is usually chosen by a select band of journalists in Europe.
Previous winners of the award include, Wayne Rooney, Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabregas, and Sergio Aguero.
Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi, are the first Nigerian players in history to be nominated for the award.
The duo who have impressed their teams this season in the English Premier League but will battle 38 other nominees for the award.
Others shortlisted for the award includes: Dele Alli, Marko Grujic, Lucas Hernandez, Kingsley Coman, Marcus Rashford, Moussa Dembele, Youri Tielemans, Leroy Sane, Renato Sanches, Ousmane Dembele and Gabriel Barbosa, among others.
Kelechi Iheanacho joined Manchester City in 2014 after impressing at the 2013 FIFAU17 World Cup where he won the Golden Ball award as the best player in the tournament.
He has so far made 38 appearances for the Citizens, scoring an impressive 17 goals.
Arsenal midfielder, Alex Iwobi, made his Champions League debut for the Gunners in an impressive showing against Barcelona at the Camp Nou.
The 20-year-old is now a regular for Nigeria and was handed Alexis Sanchez’s old No. 17 shirt at the start of the season. This season, he has made six appearances for the gunners, laying on three goals.
Below is the full list of nominees:
UEFA GOLDEN BOY 40-MAN SHORTLIST FOR 2016
Dele Alli (Tottenham)
Marco Asensio (Real Madrid)
Leon Bailey (Genk)
Riechedly Bazoer (Ajax)
Gabriel Boschilia (Monaco)
Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen)
Carlos Fernandez (Sevilla)
Andreas Christensen (Borussia Monchengladbach)
Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich)
Ante Coric (Dinamo Zagreb)
Amadou Diawara (Napoli)
Mahmoud Dahoud (Borussia Monchengladbach)
Danilo Barbosa (Benfica)
Moussa Dembele (Celtic)
Ousmane Dembele (Dortmund)
Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan)
Breel Embolo (Schalke)
Gabriel Barbosa (Inter Milan)
Aleksandr Golovin (CSKA Moscow)
Goncalo Guedes (Benfica)
Demarai Gray (Leicester)
Marko Grujic (Liverpool)
Alen Halilovic (Hamburg)
Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City)
Alex Iwobi (Arsenal)
Viktor Kovalenko (Shakhtar Donetsk)
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea)
Lucas Hernandez (Atletico Madrid)
Emanuel Mammana (Lyon)
Olivier Ntcham (Genoa)
Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)
Renato Sanches (Bayern Munich)
Jairo Riedewald (Ajax)
Ruben Neves (Porto)
Tonny Sanabria (Real Betis)
Leroy Sane (Manchester City)
Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen)
Youri Tielemans (Anderlecht)
Almamy Toure (Monaco)