Ten year-old Dubliner recruited by Barcelona

by James Clancy

Zak amendedZak Gilsenan, a ten year-old boy from Castleknock in Co. Dublin has landed a two-year contract extension with Spanish giants Barcelona.

The youngster is reported to have made quite a stir already, scoring seven goals in a trial match in Spain last year and is described as being the “Irish Messi.”

The young Dubliner, was spotted by Barcelona scouts while playing for Perth Glory’s youth team in Australia and was soon afterwards invited on trial to Spain. He has now been offered a place at FCBE Scola, the football academy which turned out not only Lionel Messi but also other legends such as Cesc Fabregas and Andres Iniesta.

During his first year at La Masia, Gilsenan has been used in three different roles, striker, right midfield and right back. He finished the season just ended by captaining Barcelona’s youth side in fixtures played against several other international teams in a tournament in which the young Barcelona players won all six games.

Zak’s dad Stephen told the Irish Daily Mail: “I know Zak is young to be doing this but kids are like a sponge at this age. People say we are mad but in Barcelona he will be educated in the best footballing techniques. All we can do is go and see how it develops.

“We know it’s ruthless over there. We don’t want him turned into a machine, we just want him to enjoy it.”

“We were living in Australia when Zak was spotted by Spurs, who were running football camps over there. We came home with the intention of letting Zak go to Spurs, but in the meantime we had a call from Barcelona.

“During his first trial game he scored seven goals and was the star of the show and was almost immediately offered a contract by Barcelona.”

The youngsters’ parents have stated that they will now relocate from Dublin to Barcelona to help the young midfield star continue his rise through the ranks at Barcelona.

 

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