Melbourne: Spanish giants Barcelona have recruited an Australian nine-year-old who made an instant impact with the club.
The Daily Telegraph reported that Zak Gilsenan was offered a contract when he was spotted by Barcelona and was asked to trial with the club. He stood out during a holiday coaching camp run by top English Premier League Tottenham Hotspur in Australia earlier this year.
Zak has made an immediate impact at the trial, scoring seven goals in one match, and has since been offered a place at Barcelona`s FCBE Academy, which has produced stars like Messi and Iniesta. Zak stole the limelight in a match between the top 16 players, scoring seven goals.
"I know Zak is young to be doing this but kids are like a sponge at this age. People say we are mad but in Barcelona he will be educated in the best footballing techniques. All we can do is go and see how it develops. We know it`s ruthless over there. We don`t want him turned into a machine, we just want him to enjoy it," Zak`s father Stephen, told the Irish Sun.
"We were living in Australia when Zak was spotted by Spurs, who were running football camps over there. We came home with the intention of letting Zak go to Spurs, but in the meantime we had a call from Barcelona.
"One of their former players saw him playing in Oz and recommended him. They offered Zak a trial in May and it was a great experience. It consisted of over 400 boys from all over the world. He was asked back in June when it was cut down to 90," he said.