Liverpool F.C. International Academy Utah youngster Gianni Vidolin was given a unique insight into life at Spanish giants Barcelona during a ten-day training camp.
The nine-year-old, who plays as a striker for the LFC IA Utah 07 Boys in Salt Lake City, flew out to train at the La Liga outfit’s headquarters last month.
He was invited to Spain after impressing at a Barcelona soccer camp in Utah last year, eventually being chosen as part of a 192-strong group from over 7,000 hopefuls.
The trip saw Gianni train at the Barcelona Escola Headquarters with Barcelona F.C. coaches for five days, before playing in friendly games against Spanish youth teams.
Gianni’s father, Emanuel Vidolin, was delighted to see his son train with the five-time European champions.
He said: “Gianni has put so much effort into his game over the last few years, so to see him invited over to Spain to play makes me extremely proud to see his hard work pay off.
“He had a fantastic time and was fascinated to sample different footballing cultures. The level of professionalism, from the coaches through to the medical staff he met, was very impressive.
“Gianni’s overall ambition will always be to pull on the famous red shirt of Liverpool, but his experience at Barcelona will live with him for ever.”
The youngster also attended a first team match at the famous Nou Camp stadium, and he even met a number of past and present Barcelona players.
Wayne Scholes, CEO of Liverpool F.C. International Academy Utah, said: “For youngsters like Gianni, the opportunity to train with a club like Barcelona is something not to be missed.
“The fact that he was chosen from over 7,000 other players shows the level of ambition he has to progress in the game. I am delighted that he enjoyed the experience.
“Barcelona may be Liverpool’s rivals in terms of the Champions League, but for youth players it is always good to sample other footballing cultures.”
For more information about Liverpool F.C. International Academy Utah, go to www.lfcacademyutah.com.