Young footballer joins FC Barcelona youth academy and captains team

A talented young footballer lived her dream after training at one of world football’s all-time greats, FC Barcelona, ​​and even captained their team on match day.

Swieqi United’s rising talent, 12-year-old Nina-Lee Naudi, has one mission: to become a professional player.

That mission could yet become a reality after her zeal continues to put her under the wings of some of Europe’s best.

After an intense training camp at the Etihad Stadium (Manchester City), it was not long before she entered the pitch at the Nou Camp itself, in Barcelona.

“Barcelona are my favorite team,” she told Lovin Malta. “So it was amazing to have the chance to train with their team and their coaches.”

Her adventure led her to spend time at the academy, where she resided with teammates from around the world, all sharing the same mission.

“I was one of seven girls among 36 children, all from all over the world,” she said.

That didn’t stop the 12-year-old from leading her team on the last day of camp, as captain on game day.

“The training was intense,” she added. “But still very similar to the training we do at home. Our trainer believes in the same style of training.

“But still, the kids there were all of a very high standard.”

Nina-Lee lives and breathes football, having found her love for the game at the tender age of four.

Eight years later, she now represents the country in the Malta Under-16 team.

The passion for sport in Malta often takes potential athletes far on their journey to hone their talents.

Last January, Lovin Malta met Lorenzo Grossi, the head of Juventus academies across Europe, who even said playing abroad should be an “integral part” of a young athlete’s development.

Nina-Lee’s return to Malta has only set her up for more, as she and her team and parents continue to plan for more adventures down the road.

Nina-Lee, bow down!