Boy without feet causing stir in Brazil

Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:47pm EDT
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By Sergio Queiroz

CAMPOS, Brazil (Reuters) - Brazilian Gabriel Muniz, 11, is one of the best players at his school despite being born without feet and he dreams of being a footballer when he grows up, even though he knows it can only be at disabled level.

After an appearance in Brazil's most popular sports show on the TV Globo network, Gabriel was invited to take part in a Barcelona training camp in Saquarema, a town in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

His special skills impressed the Spanish club's coaches and he has been invited to meet his idol Lionel Messi next month.

"When he arrived there no one believed in him but he proved to everyone he can go head to head with any boy. So much so that he was invited to go to Spain to showcase his talent," said his gym teacher Jose Lopes.

Gabriel was not yet one when he started walking on his stumps and he went on from there.

He plays soccer like anyone else but without feet, kicking the ball with his stumps.

Gabriel's mother Sandra told Reuters her son has always lived a normal life despite his physical limitations.

Every day the boy wakes up at 0630 and rides his bicycle to school along with his older brother.   Continued...