14 year Indian boy selected for training with Real Madrid! Know his story.


From the streets to Real Madrid, R Manikandan’s journey is inspiring.


The world’s most popular and watched sport Football is something than runs in the veins of Indians. In recent times though football is being popularized and efforts are being taken to bring the sport ahead in the country.

Football is not a sport it is an emotion. It connects people gives them reasons to smile, cry be furious, be passionate and so much more. Football changed the lives of many people who went from being nobody to becoming someone the whole world had their eyes set upon.

A story has come to the forefront in India where a young boy has overcome all his difficulties to realise his dream of playing football and becoming a professional footballer.

R Manikandan – A 14-year-old has secured a month-long training with none other than Spanish giants Real Madrid. One of the most decorated Spanish clubs.


He soon will be heading to Spain for his 1 month training. However his journey was not easy as it seems to be.

The 14 year old spent his childhood begging on the streets in Kerala, with his sister in order to make money to eat & survive.

Life however had other plans for him. And he was rescued from the streets by R Sreekumar, supervisor of a children’s home. As the orphanage ran out of space. In order to accommodate the kids, Sreekumar started taking the kids to the nearby Fathima Mata College grounds in Kollam, a move that eventually changed the life of Manikandan.

Wandering on the ground, passing the ball that went out of the field to the players. Coach MP Abhilash asked him to play with the seniors he used to look at as he thought he seemed passionate about the sport and the rest is history.

An under-15 player of the I-League, Manikandan now represents the district and Football Plus Professional Soccer Academy in Chennai.

His ever-growing talent while playing in Chennai earned him praise from some foreign coaches. Such was the impact of his game that the foreign coaches told the academy about Manikandan’s hidden talent and recommended his name for the special training.

“I spotted him in last February. In just one year, he has improved brilliantly and I feel if he’s groomed well he will be an asset to the country,” said coach MP Abhilash, who will be accompanying Manikandan to Madrid. “His technique and agility are superb and his height adds to his prowess,”

“Football is a passion for me. I owe everything to my coach and supervisor of the children’s home. They encouraged me well and stood by my side,” said Manikandan.

If you liked this check this out.


6 Movies You Must Watch Before you turn 30.