Ivan Galaev, Young Player from Latvia – the new Messi

Yeah, I’m the new Messi… And do you know why? Because I want to be like him and I was born on the same day as him! But with a difference of 22 years.

I’m 12 y.o. and more than half of this time I am in football – 6-7 trainings a week games for 2 teams and … then only school and sleep.

I’m a captain and a leader in my team and I motivate them to win and also follow the rule that a TEAM wins, not only one player. I don’t like losing that’s why I’m very emotional on a pitch – shouts, tears, smiles – it’s an essential part of my game.

You may be surprised, but I support Barcelona 🙂 I have been to the legendary Camp Nou twice (of course, I would like to visit it more than once), I witnessed the game of El Classico. A magical stadium, an amazing city and a dream club led by Messi. My dream is to get into the youth camp of Barcelona, where young talents gather, show themselves, and most importantly, get invaluable knowledge and experience from leading football specialists. And of course, I dream of wearing a blue-garnet uniform and defending the colors of the Barcelona football club.

And in my football career, there were also bright moments, especially the tournament in Poland in the summer of 2018, where I managed to score 32 goals – it was unforgettable, I was overwhelmed with emotions, I became the main scorer of the team and the tournament. Now I really miss the big tournaments, the pre-match experiences and outbursts of emotions, the victories!

Our football club has been participating in the Football for Friendship social programme for three years. I took part in two seasons – in 2020 and in 2021. Last year was especially memorable, as my friend and teammate won in the final of the F4F 2020 online tournament, winning a ticket to the 2021 Champions League Final. Moreover, I also unexpectedly won a ticket to the Final, predicting the result of the final game. Unfortunately, we did not manage to get to the 2021 Champions League Final due to COVID-19 restrictions, but I hope next year we will definitely get there. In general, F4F is a unique programme that gives you the opportunity to communicate with your peers from all over the world, gain experience and develop in sports and social terms, thanks to the organizers of the program.

Yes, I am a new Messi – Ivan Galaev, remember this name. At least I’ll do everything to make you still hear and see me! See you on the football pitch!


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