Spain's Real Madrid signs 7-year-old
Leonel Angel Coira has reportedly signed a contract to join the Real Madrid youth system ... at age 7.
August 8th, 2011
03:18 PM ET

Spain's Real Madrid signs 7-year-old

Spanish soccer powerhouse Real Madrid has made what is sure to be one of the most talked-about moves of the off-season, signing a 7-year-old Argentine to its youth system, according to an Argentine sports website.

The Spanish-language Ole ran an interview with Leonel Angel Coira in which the youngster said he had signed a contract to play in the Galacticos' youngest division.

Real Madrid had no word of the signing on its website, but reported that club spokesman Juan Tapiador confirmed the news Monday.

According to, Real Madrid snapped up the youngster to ward off attempts by other European clubs in the future - namely rival Atletico Madrid, which Ole said had already expressed interest in Coira.

Coira told Ole last week that he preferred making assists over scoring goals, that he can juggle a ball eight or nine times without dropping it and that his dream is to play for Real Madrid's first team, which is home to some of the world's greatest players, including Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo.

His training with the under-9 players - or Benjamins, as they're known - begins September 6, he added. The team's Benjamin A squad is composed of 10-year-olds and one 11-year-old.

In a statement that might not sit so well with the Galacticos' faithful, Coira said his favorite player was fellow Argentine Lionel Messi, who plays for F.C. Barcelona. Real and Barcelona face each other twice a year in Spain's top league in a game known as "El Clasico."

The first comments began arriving on Coira's Facebook page after noon ET Monday and had already digressed into a war of words between Real and Barca fans. There were also notes of congratulations. As of 3:15 p.m. ET, his YouTube page - which was launched Monday and hosted a lone video - had three comments.

There are mutterings of disgust that Real has signed a player too young for many amusement park rides, but signing young players is old hat in the beautiful game. Earlier this year, VVV Venlo of the Netherlands' top league reportedly signed an 18-month-old to a 10-year-contract. Yes, an 18-month-old.

If you want to see the toddler, Baerke van der Meij, use his toy box for target practice, you can check it out on YouTube.

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Filed under: Argentina • Facebook • Soccer • Spain • Sports • World • YouTube
soundoff (38 Responses)

    i can't believe how well this kid handles his balls already...

    August 8, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. raven

    Was wonderin how long it would take.. Aaand Ruffy wins !

    August 8, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Marcus Vermalien

    Utter stupidity on the part of these so-called "expert" European futbol clubs. Sign my son, if you're going to sign some 18-month old. He can shoot the ball into the goal consistently from the end of the driveway (a small hockey goal at that) and he can juggle 3-4 times. And he can dribble the ball, without losing it off his foot from one side of the soccer field to the other. Did I mention that he's only 3 years old? Yeah. Exactly. If they're going to sign these kids, better start signing everyone. Morons.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • JBHedgehog

      @MC It's "you're" not "your". Let's watch out with the "idiot" word until we have basic grammar under control. Second, if Europe rules the Futbol world...why does it import so many South Americans. Also, have you ever heard of a country named Brazil? I've heard they are pretty good.

      August 8, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • ledbetter

      @mc – Smugness at its' finest.

      August 8, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. the_dude

    The parents must have $$$ in their eyes. I bet they buy new cars and houses before they setup a college fund for the kid just in case.....

    August 8, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. @Marcus

    Well, are you recording your 3 year old doing this and sending it to scouts?? (asked in sarcasm)

    August 8, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. CT

    People need to calm down about this. European soccer teams like Real Madrid, Ajax, Manchester United, etc., are nothing like the professional teams we Americans are used to. They sponsor youth teams that compete under the paren't team's banner. This kid likely isn't getting paid a dime. His contract will simply specify that he will play for Real madrid's youth teams and will be housed in their dorms. It's a lot like signing your kid up for an AAU team with hopes he'll one day make it to college, then the pros.

    August 8, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. hntrfmhades

    the NFL is considering drafting cameron newton's unborn offspring...just in case.....I'm sure there IS money involved, room and board, a few bucks for game rentals...and his parents will get the residuals from his advertising deals to put into his 'college' fund,,,then disappear when he reaches the age of taking over his own finances. It could become a market in youngsters paramount to slavery. time will tell.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Todd

    Wow, and I thought it sucked that the NBA took kids right from high school.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOB

      You sir are an idiot, futbol is the biggest sport in the WORLD! (also one of the oldest). I Hate stupid people.

      August 8, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • jksted

      BOB you're the moron. soccer being the biggest or oldest sport should have little to do with how acceptable it is for clubs to poach children while they're still in school (especially in 2nd or 3rd grade). That being said, Todd, i know the NHL drafts players while they are still in high school – some being as young as freshmen. this doesn't mean they are going to be playing in the pros the following season. In fact, most of them still attend college. What it does mean is that they're obligated to that particular club as they move through the farm league system.

      August 8, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. utoolbox

    Good for him! They must see the potential.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Shawn

    Who cares...its not even a real sport anyway.

    August 8, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jazzzzzzzz Mother

    I hope this doesn't make anyone feel too uncomfortable but my Jazzy was hit by a car last week, she's fine and sleeping at the moment. I just wanted to give a quick shout to some one named Banasy... ALLS CLEAR...text back and we can talk about her while she's out! He he...that (he he) was stolen from another friend of hers, hope you don't mind little feller! LOL this is sooo much FUN! Carry on folks....

    August 8, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jacob

    must watch this kid from now on... 🙂
    Hope his good , and I think his really good.
    Visit CoolCent. c o m


    August 8, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. rub


    American Soccer in my neck of the pitch ,Have and will always train and teach from the day they walk!

    The best players in almost every sport Were super Soccer players here first in mom and dads driveways!!

    Male or Female WE THE AMERICAN'S will tare you Apart ,So you've been served.

    long live Kyle Rote JR.

    August 8, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. edvhou812

    This happens frequently. Even USC recruits young kids in hopes they will continue to get better and sign with the team later on in life.

    August 8, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Carolyn

    I think my next son's name is Leonel Good Luck for the kid I bet he's excited !!!!!

    August 8, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
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