sport

Isco wins under-21 award

Malaga attacking midfielder Isco has been named Europe's best under-21 player of 2012.

The 20-year-old Spaniard beat AC Milan's Stephan El Shaarawy and Atletico Madrid's Thibaut Courtois to the prestigious Golden Boy award.

Isco was selected by a panel of 30 journalists from 20 European nations and becomes the tenth player to receive the prize.

Past winners include Lionel Messi, Wayne Rooney and Sergio Aguero, while Borussia Dortmund's Mario G? collected the accolade last year.

"I'm overjoyed," Isco told Tuttosport. "It is a wonderful thing. I see the past winners and it almost makes me shiver, names of the highest prestige, like Messi.

"When I read that I was one of three candidates for the title, I thought it was a joke. When I knew that El Shaarawy and Courtois were the other candidates, I didn't expect to win.

"This Golden Boy will be an incentive for me to become a real star of international football, like those who have gone before me."