Meet the 'Irish Messi'

Published Monday, 23 July 2012
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As the debate continues about whether Argentine ace Lionel Messi's football boots will ever be filled, it seems there's a prime contender from Ireland.

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A young Dublin schoolboy, Zak Gilsenan, has just signed to the academy of Barcelona - one of the most famous clubs in the world - and has been hailed 'the Irish Messi'.

His father Stephen explained that when the head of development at Tottenham met Zak, he said that he'd been all over the world and never met a child with as much ability as the little brown haired boy.

The proud dad said: "He got in touch and said, 'Barcelona needs to see this kid!'"

And so, as the story goes off the schoolchild went to participate in an initial trial.

"From there then he got asked back and from there, it just spiralled. Who knows if he keeps progressing the way he is, God knows where it will end up. Please God he will just keep enjoying his football."

Speaking of the trials, Zak said: "I think there was like 1,000 kids at the start and they dropped it down to 400 and then 20 and then 16."

And then he scored seven goals... and became the chosen one.

As the world prepares to watch his progress, the 'Irish Messi' simply keeps practicising his special tricks for his chance at the big time.

© UTV News
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4 Comments
Martin in Derry wrote (634 days ago):
Congrats.. Hope it all goes well for the wee lad.
Fionntan in Belfast wrote (634 days ago):
Well done kid, I hope there's a few more like you coming through for us :-)
james in comber wrote (634 days ago):
good luck to this young lad, maybe he could become a world class player?
Ryan in Belfast wrote (635 days ago):
This kid is going to be a future star, no doubt about it. Its great to see Ireland producing such talent, hopefully if the kid progresses he can make it onto the Republic of Ireland squad. Good luck Zak :)
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CHRIS BRENNAN
It's a two-horse race now, but one even the most-seasoned pundit would be brave to call.
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