The voting has been influenced by an unexpected group unrelated to football: Taylor Swift’s fans, the Swifties.
The Swifties’ involvement in the voting was triggered by a comment made by FC Barcelona’s Alejandro Balde, who said he didn’t like Taylor Swift’s music.
As a result, Balde’s support dropped significantly while Jude Bellingham’s support surged.
The Golden Boy Award is a highly respected honor in the world of football, recognizing the best player under the age of 21.
While a panel of football experts traditionally decides the winner, fans also have a say through public voting. However, this year’s voting process has been influenced by an unexpected group unrelated to football.
The voting has been taken over by fans of American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, known as “Swifties,” who are passionately supporting Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham for the award. This campaign by Swifties aims to secure the prestigious accolade for the 20-year-old Bellingham over FC Barcelona’s Alejandro Balde.
The Swifties’ involvement in this voting frenzy was triggered by a comment made by Balde that didn’t sit well with them. When asked in an interview if he liked Taylor Swift’s music, Balde bluntly responded, “No, I don’t like her music.” This statement caught the attention of Swifties, and an individual on the social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter) shared a screenshot of Balde’s comment, encouraging Taylor Swift’s fans to vote for Bellingham instead of Balde.
As a result, Balde’s support dropped significantly from 43% to 8%, while Bellingham experienced an extraordinary surge in votes, increasing from 30% to 89%. It’s important to note that Swifties are extremely dedicated to their idol, Taylor Swift, much like the fervent K-pop fanbase, and they are willing to defend her against any criticism.
Bellingham’s strong position as the frontrunner for the Golden Boy Award is not solely due to the Swifties’ votes. He has earned recognition for his outstanding performance, being named the Bundesliga Player of the Season for the 2022-23 season. Additionally, he has had an impressive start with Real Madrid, scoring five goals in just four matches.