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Dublin boy hailed as the 'Irish Messi' (11) set to join Liverpool

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Zak Gilsenan

Zak Gilsenan

Nadia Forde, Dubs star Bernard Brogan and Zak Gilsenan

Nadia Forde, Dubs star Bernard Brogan and Zak Gilsenan

Zak Gilsenan

Zak Gilsenan

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Zak Gilsenan

Liverpool look set to win the race for the signature of the boy who has been dubbed the next Messi.

Zak Gilsenan (11) , dubbed the ‘next Lionel Messi’, has opted for the Merseyside club and his family has moved to England.

Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal, as well as a host of European clubs, were all reportedly interested in signing the Dubliner.

But it now looks like it’s Liverpool who have won the race to recruit Ireland’s hottest young prospect.

Gilsenan is originally from Castleknock but his family moved to Australia due to his father’s work commitments.

He hit the headlines when he was just nine years of age when he bagged seven goals in a trial game, a feat that earned him a two-year stay at Barcelona in the same academy that produced a certain Lionel Messi and Xavi Inesta.

At that time, Zak’s proud father Stephen said that the family was considering a move so that the young footballer could follow his dream.

SPOTTED

“We were living in Australia when Zak was spotted by Spurs, who were running football camps over there.

“We came home with the intention of letting Zak go to Spurs, but then  we had a call from Barcelona.

“One of their former players saw him playing in Australia and recommended him.

“They offered Zak a trial y and it was a great experience. It consisted of over 400 boys from all over the world. He was asked back in June when it was cut down to 90.”

Mr Gilsenan said that Zak put on an impressive display at one of the final matches in Barcelona which caught the eye of several scouts.

“Then in a match between the top 16 players, Zak just ran riot and scored seven goals. He was phenomenal. Then they offered him a spot,” his father said at the rime.

Now talented Zak will now be joined by his parents, brother Jamie and sister Danielle in the UK.

hnews@herald.ie


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