Borussia Dortmund pair Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho, along with Bayern Munich's Alphonso Davies and Manchester United's Mason Greenwood, head a stellar list of names as the 2020 Golden Boy list of nominees was cut down to 40.
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The award, handed out by Italian newspaper Tuttosport, honours the best young player in Europe for the calendar year.
Haaland joined Dortmund from FC Salzburg in January after a stunning start to the season in which he scored 28 goals in 22 matches. He scored eight times as the Austrian side crashed out of the Champions League in the group stage.
He scored a hat trick on his Champions League debut as well as goals in each of his first five outings and became the competition's highest-scoring teenager in a single season.
The 20-year-old continued his incredible form with another treble on his Dortmund bow, which helped Lucien Favre's side come from 3-1 down to beat Augsburg 5-3.
Haaland finished the campaign with 29 goals in all competitions and was sixth in the race for the European Golden Shoe -- level with Messi.
His teammate Sancho also enjoyed a stunning campaign in which he scored his first senior hat trick. His performances have seen him turn into one of the most sought-after players in Europe, with United keen to bring him to Old Trafford.
Canada international Davies was a vital part of the Bayern team that won a Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League treble last season.
United forward Greenwood established himself as a important member the club's attacking line. His 17 goals for the season saw him equal the record tally for a teenager at club.
Dest became a regular for Ajax as he made 20 league appearances before the Dutch season was prematurely ended due to the coronavirus pandemic.