Palestinian teenager Mohamed al-Badawi is preparing to represent his homeland after being invited to join Barcelona’s football school next summer.
Barcelona’s Youth Academy has been touring the world to discover new young talent. In Jordan academy scouts chose the best five young players in the region and Al-Badawi got his lucky ticket and will join the training program in Barcelona this summer.
The 15 year old currently trains at a green soccer field in Ramallah and plays with a local soccer club. He says the move to Europe is a great challenge for him.
“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,” Reuters quotes Al-Badawi as saying.
Soccerstages, Barcelona’s Youth Academy, brings up over 300 select players, and Al-Badawi’s friends believe he could equal the competition and one day become the Palestinian version of Lionel Messi.
“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,” friend Feras Alomari told Reuters.
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