Under-10 soccer stars heading to Portugal
Published Friday, March 23, 2012 11:42AM EDT
A group of very talented young soccer players are gearing up for the road trip of a lifetime.
This group of eight- and nine-year-olds has not been together very long, but anyone watching their practice notices very quickly that they are good.
In fact, they're the best.
After being scouted and evaluated these players from the Lac St Louis, Concordia and Laval leagues had to try out against 70 other top players to make the final roster.
International scout Simao Matheus Mendes says everyone he's seen has skill, but that alone is not enough.
"If you see them all individually, they all have talent, but they can play together. Every player have something special," said Mendes.
Michael Caparelli is proud he made the team.
"In the tryouts there were a lot of other great players so I didn't know if I was going to make it, so when I found out I was going I felt really good," said Michael.
The team will represent Canada on the world stage in April when they head to Portugal for Mundialito, an elite tournament featuring more than 30 countries.
"We are going to play against Real Madrid etc.. and they were like, Canada?" said Mendes. "They don't think we have good soccer so we're going to cause a lot of surprises I'm sure."
Mundalito started 18 years ago and it's considered one of the most important international soccer tournaments in the world.
The coaches hope this will be an experience these players will never forget.
"When you get into the tournament and the stands are full and everyone's yelling Canada, Canada... it's something I'm never going to forget. Imagine the kids," said Mendes.
"I'm excited," said Anthony Marinaro, who plays striker.
"For my whole life I wanted to be in the biggest tournament of all life and I want to win and have fun with my team."