From now on, Europe’s top league with the lowest average age will be acknowledging its best young players: Together with official Bundesliga partner TAG Heuer, DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga has established the “Rookie Award” and will be giving the fans a chance to have their say.

Voting will be possible via a dedicated website at www.rookie-award.com. Three young professionals will be nominated each month according to objective criteria on the basis of the Bundesliga’s official match data (e.g. goals, assists, tackling rate). The “rookie of the season” will be selected from all the monthly winners at the end of the season. The player must be no older than 21 years at the start of the season and must complete his Bundesliga debut in the current season.

Ahead of the first monthly vote in March, the “rookie of the first half of the 2016/2017 season” is currently being sought. The nominees are Nabil Bentaleb from FC Schalke 04, Ousmane Dembeĺe from Borussia Dortmund and Naby Keita from RB Leipzig.

“The Bundesliga thrives on national and international stars but also on young professionals who are still on their way to the very top. With the “Rookie Award”, the Bundesliga therefore wants to highlight the crucial importance of these young stars for the value of the competition,” explains Christian Seifert, CEO of the Bundesliga.

In the first half of the current season, the average age of the Bundesliga professionals was 25.8 years and thus lower than in the top leagues in England, Spain, Italy and France. The “Rookie Award” will receive regular coverage via the Bundesliga’s digital platforms.

Says Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of TAG Heuer and President of the Watch Division of the LVMH Group: “Part of our global commitment to football entails joining our partners in encouraging young talents. That’s why I am thrilled about the newly created “Bundesliga Rookie Award by TAG Heuer” and the related investment in the future of football.”