Liverpool starlet Raheem Sterling has won Tuttosport's prestigious Golden Boy award for 2014, becoming the first English recipient since Wayne Rooney in 2004.
Sterling has been recognised for a stellar 2014 that saw him play a key role in Liverpool's surprise tilt at the Premier League title last season and establish himself as a regular starter for England.
The 20-year-old saw off competition from Manchester United youngster Adnan Januzaj and Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu, as well as Liverpool team-mates Lazar Markovic and Divock Origi.
"It's a great achievement to win such an award," Sterling told Liverpool's official website. "It's a really happy feeling for me and my family, of course.
"Something I've always wanted to do is to work hard playing football and try to be recognised. I'm really grateful that people have shown me this recognition.
"It's down to hard work. I'm really happy that people are recognising that I'm trying to work hard and do my best for this football club. I'm really grateful for this award."
Previous winners include Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabregas and Sergio Aguero, and Sterling insists he still has a long way to go in order to fulfil his potential.
"There's always room for improvement," he admitted. "At this moment in time, I should have a few more goals, but I've not taken some of my chances. But I'm young and learning all the time.
"This award just shows that hard work gets you where you want to be, and that I'm on the right track for where I want to be in my career. Hopefully I can just keep working hard and try to take my game to the next level."