Football, by its very nature, is a game played predominantly with the feet, but 11-year-old Gabriel Muniz is challenging this convention. The Brazilian youngster was born without feet but has been walking since the age of 1 and regularly indulges his passion for football. He was donated foot-ankle prostheses last year but chooses to discard them when playing.
After his story was featured on a popular Brazilian sports show, Muniz was invited to attend a Barcelona training camp in Saquarema, just outside Rio de Janeiro. The Barcelona coaching staff was so impressed by his willingness to push the boundaries of his physical limitations that it extended him an invite to train in Spain with the Catalan side. The Telegraph reports:
His story and impressive skills inspired the Spanish club's managers and he received an invitation to travel to Barcelona's academy in September.
"When he arrived there [the Barcelona academy in Saquarema], no one believed in him. But he proved to everyone there, he can go head to head with any other boy," said his [PE] teacher.
During his Spanish trip, Muniz will be given the chance to meet some of his idols, including Leo Messi.
While young Gabriel may never receive a full contract from a team like Barca, this is a truly inspirational story. The kind that makes a person wish they'd done more with their life than slouch in a chair all day writing blog posts in their underwear.
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