Barcelona have reportedly moved to sign Brazilian wonderkid Paulo Henrique Pereira Sena, who is only 14 years old – the same age as Lionel Messi when he moved to Camp Nou.
Spanish newspaper Sport reports that the Primera Division side spotted Sena at the “Zico 10” academy in Rio de Janeiro, an academy that is funded by the Brazilian government for youngsters, and moved quickly to sign him.
It also claims that Barcelona want him to remain in Rio for the next six months at their own Xerem academy, before following in the footsteps of Messi and travelling to Spain to begin his tutelage at La Masia.
Messi was of a similar age when he made the journey from Newell’s Old Boys in his native Argentina, to the famed academy that has produced so many stars of Camp Nou.
It would be a real rags to riches story for Sena, as the report claims he hails from the Ciudad de Deus (City of God) favela in Rio, said to be one of the biggest and most dangerous in the city.