Dutch defender De Ligt wins young player gong at Ballon d’Or awards


Paris (AFP) – Dutch starlet Matthijs de Ligt succeeded Kylian Mbappe as the winner of the Kopa Trophy for the best player aged under 21 at the Ballon d’Or awards ceremony in Paris on Monday.

The defender, 20, starred in the Ajax side who reached the UEFA Champions League semi-finals and won the Dutch title, before joining Juventus in the close season in a deal worth 85.5 million euros ($94.7 million).

The award is named after Raymond Kopa, the Real Madrid and France star of the post-war era who won the Ballon d’Or in 1958.

France forward Mbappe was the inaugural winner of the prize last year.

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