Real Madrid sign seven-year-old phenom

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:53 PM ET

Talk about phenoms, a seven-year-old Argentine soccer prodigy named Leo has been signed by Spanish team Real Madrid.

Leonel Angel Coira will begin training with Madrid's youth academy Sept. 6, although it may be a few years before he's ready for first-team action, ESPNsoccernet reported Monday.

Ardent Real fans might be disappointed, however, to learn that Leo's idol is striker Lionel Messi of rival Barcelona.

"Lionel Messi is my idol, but my dream is to play in the Real Madrid first team," Leo told Argentine sports daily Ole. He also said he preferred to make an assist rather than score himself.

Coincidentally, Messi, also a native of Argentina, signed with Barcelona when he was 13 and made his debut with the big club at 16.

Atletico Madrid was rumoured to be interested in the youngster, but Real pounced quickly to seal the deal with his father, who said: "It looks good when I say it because I'm the father, but I'm excited to see how he plays with the ball."


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