The Golden Boy award is one of the most prestigious accolades in European football, given to the best player under the age of 21. The winner is decided by a panel of journalists from various media outlets, but there is also a fan vote that allows the public to have their say.
This year, the fan vote has been hijacked by an unlikely group of supporters: Taylor Swift fans. The pop star’s loyal followers, known as Swifties, have launched a campaign to help Jude Bellingham, the Real Madrid and England midfielder, win the award over his rival Alejandro Balde, the Barcelona and Spain left-back.
Why are Swifties voting for Bellingham?
The reason behind this unusual alliance is simple: Balde does not like Taylor Swift’s music. In an interview with Mundo Deportivo, Balde was asked if he liked the singer, and he replied: “No, I don’t like her music”.
This comment did not go unnoticed by Swifties, who are known for their fierce devotion to their idol and their readiness to defend her against any criticism. A Real Madrid fan account with the Twitter handle ‘Not Phyton’ posted a screenshot of Balde’s quote and urged Swifties to vote for Bellingham instead of Balde.
The tweet went viral, and soon thousands of Swifties joined the movement, flooding the online poll with votes for Bellingham. According to Spanish journalist Martin Manin, Balde was leading the fan vote with 43% ahead of Bellingham’s 30%, but in just seven minutes, Bellingham received almost 100,000 new votes, surpassing Balde by a huge margin.
How is Bellingham doing in the fan vote?
At the time of writing, the fan vote shows that Bellingham has amassed a staggering 89.1% of more than 3 million votes cast. Balde, meanwhile, is in second place with a mere 8.4% of votes, followed by Jamal Musiala with 0.7%.
Bellingham is clearly winning the fan vote by a landslide, thanks to the unexpected support from Swifties. However, this does not guarantee that he will win the actual award, as the fan vote only counts for 10% of the final decision. The other 90% is determined by the journalists’ votes.
Will Bellingham win the Golden Boy award?
Bellingham is certainly one of the favourites to win the Golden Boy award, as he has been outstanding for both Real Madrid and England this season. He has scored five goals in his first four games for Los Blancos, and has also won the La Liga Player of the Month award. He most recently scored a dramatic late winner against Getafe at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Whether he wins the Golden Boy award or not, Bellingham has already proven that he is one of the best young players in the world and that he has a bright future ahead of him. He can also count on the support of millions of Swifties, who have adopted him as their favourite footballer. Perhaps he will even get a shout-out from Taylor Swift herself, who is known for being generous and supportive of her fans. That would be the ultimate reward for Bellingham and his new fan base.