Published Monday, 23 July 2012
Zak Gilsenan, aged 9, who is tipped for the top. (© UTV)
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