In a move that brings new meaning to the word preemptive, Spanish soccer super-club Real Madrid signed a seven-year-old by the name of Leonel Angel Coira to a one-year contract that will put the little guy in Madrid’s development system for the foreseeable future. Per Goal.com, Madrid “made the first move in an effort to stave off challenges from other European heavyweights in the future.”
Moves like this aren’t without precedent in soccer. Lionel Messi famously signed on with FC Barcelona’s franchise at the tender age of 11 and made his official Barca debut at the age of 16. That being said, Coira is seven and starts training with Madrid’s youth team on September 6th. At that age, I was busy getting Doritos crumbs on my Game Boy Pocket when I was seven. Madrid is really trying to catch lightning in a bottle here.