Brazilian boy born without feet to train with Barcelona
An 11-year-old Brazilian boy has earned a place at Barcelona’s summer camp, despite being born without feet.
Gabriel Muniz (pictured) is highly unlikely to make it into a professional team due to his disability, but remains one of the best players in his school.
The inspirational boy has been walking since he was a one-year-old and has followed his passion since.
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 were so impressed by his willingness to push the boundaries of his physical laminations that it extended him an invite to train in Spain with the Catalan side.
During his Spanish trip, Muniz will be given the chance to meet some of his idols, including Lionel Messi.
PE teacher – “He is challenging social norms”
Jose Lopes, Muniz’s PE teacher at his school in Campos, said: “The disability only exists inside our heads; he is proving to everyone he is challenging social norms.
“To this day there isn’t a Paralympic 11-a-side football team, but Gabriel is showing this will have to change, because he wants to play 11-a-side football,”
"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 teacher.
The trip to Spain is already a dream come true for the 11-year-old, whose fantasy team consists almost entirely of Barcelona players, as well as himself of course.
"Me, Messi, Dani Alves, Villa, Iniesta, Xavi, Victor Valdes, Adriano, Puyol, Pique, Mascherano and Sanchez," the boy said.
By Josh Harris
Follow Total Football on Twitter: @TotalFootball12
What do YOU think? Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE and post your comments!
Visit the Total Football Facebook page: facebook.com/totalfootballmag