Bolivia seeking soccer-talented boy who appeared on social network video
Machis (center left) of Venezuela vies for the ball with Bolivia's Leonel Justiniano (center right) on June 22, 2019, at their national teams' Group A Copa America match in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. EFE-EPA/ Juan Ignacio Roncoroni
La Paz, Jun 25 (efe-epa).- An unnamed boy's talent for soccer and his desire to help the poorest in society, as captured in a video being shared on the social networks, has spurred Bolivia to the point where the top soccer figures in this country and Club Bolivar, the current national soccer champions, are seeking him with an eye toward helping him fulfill his dream.
The boy, whose identity has not been determined - or at least announced - appeared in a fragment of a 2017 program on Japan's NHK public television station but it began to be shared on Facebook pages in the landlocked South American country only in recent days.
In the video, the boy, who lives in one of the hillside shantytowns in La Paz, demonstrates his ballhandling ability and says that his dream is to "play in a World Cup" wearing the jersey of the Bolivian national team, as well as to play in tourneys like the UEFA Champions League in Europe.
"The first thing I want to do is help all the poor kids, all the poor ladies that there are in all of Bolivia. That's my dream," the youngster commented, his voice breaking.
"It's Bolivia's harsh reality, and so you have to help," he adds tearfully.
The Bolivian Soccer Federation on Tuesday issued a statement in which it emphasized the boy's "soccer talent ... humility and values as a human being."
Thus, the sports organization is asking for the cooperation of the society in general to find and be able to contact the boy, to help him join a soccer team and have the opportunity to play.
The capital's Club Bolivar squad, which currently holds the Bolivian League trophy, published on its Facebook page a message in which it emphasizes that "above and beyond his talent" the youngster "shows passion," as well as the aim "to use soccer as a tool to improve the lives of other children in disadvantaged conditions."
The squad also asked for help in identifying the boy and his parents with the objective of offering him "a full scholarship" at the Soccer Academy and "a stipend for his travel expenses and equipment to be able to take the first step in fulfilling his dream."
On the same social network, Club Bolivar said that it had managed to contact the boy's father and announced a meeting "to finalize details of his incorporation into the club."
The comments on the social networks have been significantly in favor of seeking out talent like the boy's in neighborhoods around Bolivia, including in the rural zones, in particular after Bolivia's poor showing in Copa America competition, currently being played in Brazil.
The national team was eliminated last week in the group phase with three defeats, having scored just two goals versus nine scored against it by its Group A rivals Brazil, Peru and Venezuela.