Barca have found a 12-year-old who could just be the next gem in world football...
In an exclusive report published by Catalunya sports daily Sport, Barcelona are said to be scouting the 'new Lionel Messi'.
The youngster in question is 12-year-old Guido Vadala of Rosario, Argentina (incidentally, the same city from which Messi hails) and the youngster has already visited Barcelona to be assessed by the Blaugrana scouting staff.
According to the Rosario publication La Capital, Guido began playing football in Rosario and currently plays at Provincial.
The boy's father recounts the experience of visiting the Catalan club in May. "We were in Barca's facilities for 15 days and Guido participated in a pair of training sessions, during which he was enamored by the Catalans. He earned a place by demonstrating his style of play and he convinced the coordinator and group of trainers. Everyone gave the OK for him to return."
However, he was quick to express that the youngster certainly had other suitors and if they wanted him, Barca would have to fight for him.
"We are in a favourable position since it is not only Barca that want him as other prestigious institutions are interested. Barcelona were the first to express interest and have already offered residency for the entire family.
"At the time, we were tentative about the offer for fear of having to leave my job. However, things have changed with respect to my profession and now I could easily transfer to Europe. At the moment, Juventus, Inter and Atalanta are very interested in having Guido play in Italy."
When speaking of his son's apparent likeness to Messi, Guido's father was somewhat hesitant. "Many people speak of the similarities between the two and this makes me happy to hear since his [Guido's] dream is to triumph in football. However, it is very premature to say such a thing. He has earned a lot of praise, but he has told me that he only wants to enjoy himself right now and, as his father, I want the same for my son."
Cyrus C. Malek, Goal.com