9-Year-Old ‘Aussie’ Recruited By Barcelona

Soccer- specialising in the ridiculous.

Robert Whiteby Robert White

When we say 'Aussie', we use the term lightly.

Between all the flopping, acting and theatrics, soccer (or football depending or your continent) can sometimes be a bit too much.

Still, the sport seems to be hell bent on pushing the limit of what can be considered 'over the top'.

A nine-year-old boy, living at the time in Australia, has been recruited by FC Barcelona.

Zak Gilsenan’s, a native of Ireland, story began when his family were living in Australia. English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur had been running youth camps Down Under when they found the talented youngster.

The Gilsenan’s headed back across the equator with the plan of their son playing with Tottenham, but a former Barca player who had seen Zak in action recommended his old club take a look at the kid.

Zak had a trial with the club in May, one of 400 kids invited by the Spanish soccer powerhouse, and was chosen to play in a game with the event's top 16 players. He dominated, kicking seven goals and was rewarded with an invitation to return after first cuts, one of just 90.

As Zak’s story is breaking worldwide, another similar one is making the news and it’s eerily similar. Another nine-year-old, Sandro Reyes, from the Philippines, has been selected to join the FCB Escola academy, a junior feeder for the teenage La Masia development program, the first from his nation. Kids graduate at 12 years of age.

The Gilsenan family is looking to relocate to Spain to help with their son’s transition.

Barcelona youth acadamies have produced some amazing talent- Messi and Iniesta being two.