Indian-origin kid Joshua Pynadath sees Real Madrid future

New Delhi11-year-old Joshua Pynadath begins at the Spanish club soon.

A second trial at Real Madrid heralds a new beginning for Indian-origin schoolboy Joshua Pynadath. The 11-year-old resident of Los Altos, California, will become the first American to join the Real Madrid youth academy program later this year.

Real Madrid had to stave off interest from Barcelona to sign Joshua for a year starting this autumn. And the boy is thrilled at the thought of walking through the doors of the academy, known as the Castilla, behind legends such as Raul, Casillas and Guti.

Joshua's family is set to move to Madrid at the end of August, allowing him to spend a year at Real's Alevin A team.

Real is Joshua's favourite team and he hopes to emulate Madrid's jewel Cristiano Ronaldo, who is his favourite player. He told Pete Borello of the Los Altos Town Crier: "I was blown away when I got the official news from Real Madrid."

Joshua came to Real's notice when they saw a highlight video of him displaying some fancy footwork for his local club, De Anza Force Soccer Club, showing off his dribbling, passing and scoring. Officials were impressed enough to call him for a trial last November. An extended trial followed.

Joshua received another piece of good news: Barcelona too wanted him to trial for a place at their celebrated youth academy, La Masia. He started his 17-day Spanish spring sojourn in Barcelona, where he felt a bit overawed. By the time he reached Madrid again, he was well within his comfort zone — playing the game he loved, with the club he adored.

"The Real Madrid academy team and coaches seemed very excited to have me back," he said. "It was like I had never left," he said. His second trial at the Castilla was comprehensive and more strenuous. "Both trials were very serious, as kids are fighting to either keep a spot or to earn a spot," said Joshua, who has just completed the fifth grade.

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