Real Madrid signed Leonel Angel Coira. He and his family recently relocated from Argentina to Spain. Leo agreed to the 1-year deal that allows him to start practice with the Real Madrid development team on September 6.

He’s only 7 years old.

At 7, Leo dreams of meeting fellow Argentinian Lionel Messi and playing on the Argentine World Cup team. Real Madrid is investing in making that dream become a potential reality.

When I was 7, I was foolishly dreaming of becoming the next female Smurf.

For Real Madrid, the move makes sense. Leo will not be paid a salary, but Real Madrid will cover transportation costs. And if his development pans out, Real Madrid avoids paying transfer fees to other clubs to possess the rare talent. If Leo doesn’t develop as hoped, either party can terminate the contract at any time.

For Leo, it’s a coveted chance to develop into one of the youngest soccer stars in Europe. I hope his dreams work out better than me trying to become a friendly blue Smurf.

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