He won't be playing in the big leagues anytime soon, but Real Madrid has signed 7-year-old Argentinian soccer prodigy Leonel Angel Coira to their youth academy.
Leonel or "Leo" will be playing on the club's "Benjamin" squad, which is made up of kids under 9-years-old. Although most young players signed to clubs do not make it professionally, Leo hopes to follow in the footsteps of his idol and two-time World Player of the Year, Lionel Messi, who played on Barcelona's youth team until reaching major league success. The young prodigy told reporters:
"(My) dream is to meet Messi, play in the first division with Madrid and for Argentina in the World Cup."
Believe it or not, this 7-year-old isn't the youngest player to be signed by a soccer club! An 18-month-old toddler was signed to Dutch club VVV Venio after they saw his ability to kick a soccer ball!
As far as the Real Madrid, a spokesman insisted Leo is not the youngest to be signed and said players can be any age can join the team, but "have to be a standout", explaining:
"We look for something different, that quality or talent that makes them stand out from the rest."
It sounds like whatever the team was looking for, they found in young Leo Coira and we wish him the best in years to come!
Tags: barcelona, europe, leonel angel coira, lionel messi, major leagues, prodigy, professional, real madrid, soccer clubs, success