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Local sixth-grader selected to train at FC Barcelona facilities

Carlos Alvarez has been playing soccer from a young age and his parents say from the onset, his skills and attraction to the game were apparent.

"We right away noticed that he loved the game," said Maribel Alvarez, Carlos' mother. "He's very athletic, and we saw his skills right when he was four. For him to be on the field and letting his energy out, that's when I knew this was definitely his sport."

Alvarez, a current Founders Classical Academy of Schertz sixth grader, participated in a week long FC Barcelona Academy camp in June, where he was selected by the staff to participate in a two week invitation-only program at the FC Barcelona training facilities in Spain.

"I was -- I was shocked because I got so excited because there were so many kids and I can't believe I was one of them," Alvarez said.

Alvarez is excited to visit a new country and improve his skills, specifically one-touch passes.

"I think I'm good at it, but I think I can get better, so like you can always like improve what you need to improve," he said. "I think it's going to be awesome."

Alvarez plays club soccer for Lions FC in Schertz and is coached by Jairo Parra. In the 18 months Parra has coached Alvarez, he's noticed that although his proficiency in the sport is above that of his peers, it's his dedication that sets him apart.

"I think Carlos is very talented," Parra said. "I think he's one of those kids that has a very unique, rare set of skills. He's natural at the sport but I think more than anything, what he brings in my opinion is a work ethic I haven't seen in kids his age."

Alvarez and his immediate family depart for Spain on September 25.