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article image15-year-old Palestinian to join Barcelona’s football school

By Anne Sewell     Feb 18, 2013 in Sports
Barcelona - 15-year-old Palestinian teenager, Mohamed al-Badawi, will be joining Barcelona’s football school in summer, one of several youngsters chosen worldwide for training this year.
Barcelona's Youth Academy, "Soccerstages", has been searching the world for new, young football talent.
While they were in Jordan, scouts chose the best five young players in the region, and this included Al-Badawi from Palestine.
The 15-year-old, who currently trains at a green soccer field in Ramallah and plays for a local Palestinian soccer club, will be joining the training program in Barcelona this summer
Reuters quoting Al-Badawi as saying that the move to Europe would be a great challenge, and that, “It is a nice feeling for a Palestinian to try this European experiment. The fact that I am, as a Palestinian, representing Palestine in Barcelona, has given me so much motivation.”
“I have been playing soccer for almost ten years. I loved the game because my father and brother made me like it. My brother used to always play this game, so he encouraged me to play it and so I started to play it with him,” he added.
The youth academy trains over 300 select players between the ages of 11 and 27. Al-Badawi’s friends believe he could equal the competition and they say he could one day become the Palestinian version of Lionel Messi.
His friend Feras Alomari told Reuters, “I encourage him to go to Spain and play with Barcelona, because he will join the same school that the famous player (Lionel) Messi joined, and Messi has become famous. So there might be a chance for Mohamed to play with Barcelona and become famous too.”
And soccer coach, Mohamed Seder, said, “The idea of him joining a soccer school in Barcelona and studying there, where they will take care of his education and sport, is a positive step that I encourage him towards. This experience will develop his personal skills and introduce him to the media and sport sectors in Spain as well as the European Union countries.”
Al-Badawi will be traveling to Barcelona in June 2013 to start his training.
More about Spain, Barcelona, Football, School, Palestinian
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