Spain’s premier soccer club, Real Madrid, has signed a 7-year-old Argentine boy, according to the team.
Real Madrid spotted Leonel Angel Coira during tryouts and gave him a one-year renewable contract.
Leonel, who has lived in Spain for three years, will commence training with Real Madrid’s children's team in September.
He would be eligible to join the first team when he turns 16.
Team spokesman Juan Tapiador told the press: "They [the players we sign] only have to be a standout. We look for something different, that quality or talent that makes them stand out from the rest."
Leonel will receive reimbursement for travel costs but no salary.
Reportedly, Leonel also received an offer from rival club Atletico Madrid before agreeing to Real Madrid’s deal.
"The scouts [at Atletico] saw him and were the first to send a letter of invitation, but after doing tests at both teams, he felt more comfortable at Real Madrid,” Leonel’s father told the Spanish newspaper ABC.
"I'm very confident about the club, I know they will take care of him.”
Leonel idolizes Argentine superstar Lionel Messi and hopes to follow in his footsteps.
"[My] dream is to meet Messi, play in the first division with Madrid and for Argentina in the World Cup," the boy told ABC.
Messi is one of the biggest names in soccer, having joined the Barcelona club from the Argentine club Newell's Old Boys as a teenager.