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Reyes, 9, joins FC Barcelona football academy
By Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
10:40 pm | Tuesday, July 17th, 2012
MANILA, Philippines—A 9-year-old Filipino football standout has been accepted to FCB Escola, the academy of one of the world’s biggest clubs, FC Barcelona, in Spain.
Sandro Reyes, a fourth grader from Southridge, got the nod of FCB Escola coaches after undergoing a rigid screening process that started when he joined a football camp in Singapore early this year. Reyes is the only homegrown Filipino who is part of the academy.
The Escola is the lower level school of Barcelona, serving as feeder into the La Masia, the fabled academy that has produced some of the finest players in the world, including World Cup winners Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi. More recently, several Escola graduates have made the Barcelona first team like Cristian Tello and Isaac Cuenca.
“It’s mind-blowing,” Reyes’ father, Edmund told the Inquirer. “We are happy. It’s the first step for Sandro to achieve his dream as a world-class player.”
The younger Reyes has been a standout in local football camps and festivals before he joined the FCB Escola camps.
Edmund Reyes, a former Marinduque congressman, said Sandro is guaranteed a slot in the academy until he graduates at 12 years old.
“He has three years to prove himself and move up to La Masia,” said the older Reyes.