MADRID: Malaga have ended a topsy-turby week by celebrating not only a Liga win over Real Madrid but the hailing of starlet striker Isco as top young player in Europe.
The 20-year-old headed the annual ‘Golden Boy’ poll in which Italian sports daily Tuttosport ballots a panel of 30 international journalists for their choice of the continent’s best under-21 player.
Isco, already valued at £10m, polled 137 points ehad of Milan’s Stephan El Shaarawy (125) und Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois who is on loan from Chelsea at Atletico de Madrid.
Winner last year’s was Borussia Dortmund’s Mario Götze.
Isco has shone in the Champions League group stage which saw Malaga qualify for the knockout stage for the first time ahead of Milan and Zenit St Petersburg.
In 16 league and four Champions League ties he has scored five goals and provided three assists.
Isco’s contract runs until 2016 but Malaga may come under pressure to sell him at the season’s after UEFA, on Thursday, barred the club from European competition for one season in the next four years.
Malaga, owned by Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nassar Al-Thani of the Qatar royal family, were punished Financial Fair Play for owing money to players, other clubs and the tax authorities.
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