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Mbappe, Pulisic and Alexander-Arnold up for Kopa Trophy – football news

Paris Saint-Germain’s World Cup-winning forward Kylian Mbappe faces competition from Gianluigi Donnarumma, Christian Pulisic and Trent Alexander-Arnold for the inaugural Kopa Trophy.

The shortlist of 10 players nominated for the award – for the world’s best male under-21 footballer – has been published by France Football, which also oversees the Ballon d’Or.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are on the panel that will vote on which of the 10 nominees should win the award, with the shortlist announced by the publication on Monday.

Mbappe’s achievements will be hard to beat in a year that saw the 19-year-old help PSG to the Ligue 1 title in his first season at the club before scoring four goals for France as Les Bleus won the World Cup for a second time.

He goes up against fellow Ligue 1 player Houssem Aouar of Lyon, as well as a trio of Serie A starlets in Roma winger Kluivert and Milan duo Donnarumma and Patrick Cutrone.

Liverpool full-back Alexander-Arnold is the sole Premier League contender and he is up against Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic, Amadou Haidara of Salzburg, Groningen’s Ritsu Doan and Rodrygo Goes of Santos, who has agreed to join Real Madrid..

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Mbappe is the only player on the shortlist for the Kopa Trophy who has also been listed among the nominees for the Ballon d’Or prize, which has been won by Cristiano Ronaldo in each of the last two years.

France Football also announced the 15 nominees for the women’s Ballon d’Or with Brazil’s Marta, United States stars Megan Rapinoe and Lindsey Horan, England duo Lucy Bronze and Fran Kirby, Canada’s Christine Sinclair and Lieke Martens of Netherlands all shortlisted.

Also in the running are France trio Wendie Renard, Amandine Henry and Amel Majri, Australia’s Sam Kerr, Japan’s Saki Kumagai, Germany’s Dzsenifer Marozsan, Denmark’s Pernille Harder and Norway’s Ada Hegerberg.

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Liverpool enemy Ramos still one of world’s best, admits Alexander-Arnold – football news

Trent Alexander-Arnold continues to hold Sergio Ramos in high esteem despite the simmering tension between Liverpool and the Real Madrid captain.

Ramos has been the target of anger from Reds fans following his part in the shoulder injury Mohamed Salah sustained during last season’s Champions League final.

Jurgen Klopp labelled the 32-year-old’s actions “ruthless and brutal” and he was booed throughout Spain’s 2-1 win over England at Wembley in the Nations League.

Ramos himself has insisted his “conscience is really clear” over the incident and Liverpool teenager Alexander-Arnold, who watched Saturday’s match from the bench, remains deferential to his fellow defender.

“Everyone has their ways of winning and he has shown over the last 10 years that he’s a winner,” the Merseyside product said.

“So has his team. To win the Champions League three times in a row takes some doing.

“Ramos has probably been the best centre-back in the world for some time. Even if he was the enemy in May you still have to respect him as a player.”

Alexander-Arnold played the full 90 minutes in Liverpool’s eventual 3-1 loss to Madrid in Kiev and went on to feature for England at the World Cup.

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The 19-year-old is soaking up every step of what has been a rapid rise, having only made his Premier League debut in December 2016.

“I feel I have been very lucky,” he said.

“When you are growing up you have dreams of being a footballer, perhaps even playing for the club you support, and I am living that dream.”

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