A few days old but had to share this remarkable story with you.
The boy you see above is Gabriel Muniz - an 11-yr-old Brazilian, born 170 miles northeast of Rio de Janeiro, with an unfortunate malformation of both feet. What makes his story interesting is that he is an aspiring footballer who wants to make it to the big stage.
We have heard of or seen athletes who have gone beyond their deficiencies to touch us from both a sporting as well as a humanistic perspective. But watching an 11-yr-old schoolboy playing football with kids that would otherwise be considered “normal”, personally, tops it all.
The awe inspiring part of the story is that Muniz – a very gifted and talented footballer - was recently invited by the Spanish giants, Barcelona to meet his favorite Argentinean Lionel Messi and also train with the club at their training academy in Brazil.
Gabriel comprehends the fact that his disability will never let him compete at a professional level. But he is hoping for the best and that is for the day when football becomes a Paralympic sport. And he gets to represent his country at the event.
Sports Columnist for Mail Online, Adam Shergold couldn’t have described my feelings in any better words than this:
“When your dream is to become a footballer and to play for Barcelona, nothing should get in your way - even if you have no feet”.
We all can learn a thing or two from Gabriel Muniz today. Most important being that we should not to take the gifts of our well being for granted.
To thank the one above, for the various blessings he has endowed us with and to think about kids like Gabriel before we start complaining about how our lives are not in line with what was expected.
I for one can say that this kid has enlightened me from within, with his bravery and free will. I hope it does to you as well.
Written by Shuaib Ahmed
Follow him on Twitter @footynions
Check out his excellent blog, Footynions
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