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Didier Drogba has told Manchester United ace Amad he is “representing the continent” of Africa after he was nominated for the 2021 Golden Boy award.
The prestigious award, which is decided by sports journalists across Europe, aims to recognise the most impressive player under the age of 21, plying their trade in a top-tier league.
Last year’s winner Erling Haaland, scooped the award after a stunning year with Borussia Dortmund, while previous winners also include Kylian Mbappe, Raheem Sterling, Paul Pogba and Lionel Messi.
Tuttosport have narrowed down the nominations to the final 80, with Amad making the cut alongside United teammate Mason Greenwood.
Amad has impressed in the glimpses Man Utd fans have seen of him so far
(Image: Getty Images)
Amad signed for the Red Devils from Atalanta back in January, in a deal which could reach up to £35m.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer used the Ivorian sparingly in his first months in English football, making his Premier League debut in the defeat to Leicester City in May.
Despite his limited minutes at Old Trafford, Amad has made the final shortlist, which also includes talents like Bukayo Saka, Pedri and Chelsea ’s Armando Broja.
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Chelsea legend Drogba will clearly be backing his compatriot however, posting a message of support to the Manchester United winger.
“Proud of you Amad, not only representing our country, but the continent,” he posted on his Instagram story.
Amad is currently with the Ivory Coast Olympic team as they prepare for the men’s soccer tournament which will kick off later this week.
Chelsea hero Didier Drogba is backing Amad to win the award for the "entire continent" of Africa
The Elephants have been placed in Group D alongside Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Germany and will start their tournament against the Saudis on July 22.
Along with Amad, Eric Bailly has made the trip to Tokyo with Solskjaer admitting he could never block a player’s dream of playing for their national team and particularly to compete in the Olympic Games.
“I think everyone, when they grow up watch the Olympics and can see Usain Bolt or Ryan Giggs, I saw him play in the Olympics!” Solskjaer explained earlier this month.
“When your country calls you up, I think I can’t stand in the way of that boyhood dream being fulfilled.
“Of course, Eric is over-age but I think they can see the value of him and that’s why they brought him in.
“Amad is a young, exciting prospect. It’ll be good to see them. It’ll be their pre-season but they’ve got to come back with a medal. We need a nice feel about the place when they come back!”
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