Messi and Ronaldo to decide world’s best young player

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are among the judges for a new award designed to recognise the world’s best young player.

Organised by France Football magazine, the Kopa Trophy will be handed out as part of this year’s Ballon d’Or ceremony in Paris on December 3. Named after former Ballon d’Or winner Raymond Kopa – who died last year – the award will be given to a player under the age of 21 who has lit up world football. The jury will be exclusively made up of former Ballon d’Or winners, which will see Messi and Ronaldo joined by the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldinho and Bobby Charlton. In addition, this year’s Ballon d’Or will be awarded to a woman for the first time. A list of 15 nominees will be selected by France Football and a panel of international journalists will vote on a winner. “I’ve always wanted to see a woman win this prestigious award,” Brazil international Marta told France Football. “It is a step towards more equality.”

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