Young star set for trial at Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portuguese club
One of Bermuda’s most exciting young football prospects is about to go on trial at the club where Cristiano Ronaldo made his breakthrough.
Roman Gaglio, aged just nine, will shortly be heading to Portugal to be put through his paces by Sporting Lisbon.
A rising star, Gaglio makes the journey next week after he was invited for trials following a string of fine performances for Vasco da Gama at an under-11 tournament held in the Azores, where he was named as one of the seven most outstanding players at the prestigious event.
“The Vasco da Gama club and the Vasco youth programme are pleased to announce that under-nine footballer, Roman Gaglio, has been selected to attend football trials with the prestigious Portuguese football club, Sporting Clube de Portugal,” read a statement from the football club.
“Roman will travel to Lisbon next week for this incredible opportunity. Roman was scouted during his participation in the 15th International under-11 Football Tournament of the Azores.
“This tournament was held in April and organised by Clube União Micaelense based in Ponta Delgada, Azores. Roman played a striking or attacking midfielder role throughout the tournament and was individually honoured by the tournament organiser as one of the best seven players.”
Established in 1906, Sporting Lisbon are one of the oldest major sports clubs in Portugal. They have won the Primeira Liga 19 times and the Portuguese Cup 17 times. Regular competitors in Europe’s biggest competitions, they were runners-up in the 2005 UEFA Cup and reached the quarter-finals of the Europa League this season, being knocked out by Italian giants Juventus 2-1 on aggregate.
Sporting’s youth academy is also revered with Ronaldo and Luís Figo both coming through the club’s junior structures. Rui Patricio, William Carvalho, Ricardo Quaresma, Joao Moutinho, Nani, and Jose Fonte are others to have made their way through the ranks.
Vasco da Gama Club, though, are not taking too much credit for the wonderful chance given to the youngster, pointing out that Gaglio has courage and the desire to succeed.
“Roman was scouted because of his tenacity and hunger to win,” the statement read.
He scored several goals in the tournament and was a key playmaker in many others. At only nine years old, Roman was holding his own in a tournament with footballers one or two years his senior. This fact was also noted by the Sporting scouting team.
. “While this was an opportunity provided to Roman thanks to Vasco da Gama Club, he has always been a driven, disciplined self-starter committed to the development of his craft. If Roman succeeds at trials, this could open the door to a variety of football-related opportunities. If he is not successful this year, this will nonetheless be an invaluable experience.
Germano Botelho, director of the Vasco youth programme is excited by the opening that has been availed to one of the youngsters under his care.
“First of all, my congratulations to Roman for this fantastic opportunity. It is so rare for any footballer to stand out in an international competition, and even rarer still for professional scouts to give such an opportunity,’’ said Botelho.
“It is not a surprise that he was selected as among the 2023 tournament’s best players. He shared this honour with young players from professional academies throughout Europe. This is no small achievement and we expect great things from Roman in the future. His parents should be very proud.”
Richard Ambrosio, president of Vasco da Gama, who accompanied the youngsters to Portugal, expressed his appreciation to everyone involved in securing this opportunity.
“I want to extend my congratulations to Roman and his undoubtedly proud family,” Ambrosio said.
“This is a tremendous achievement. I was fortunate enough to watch our under-11 team in action in the Azores this past April, and I saw first hand what Sporting’s scouts saw as well.
“Every Portuguese person and football fan in Bermuda knows Sporting. Whether you support the team or consider them a football rival, their youth academy is universally respected. Being selected by such a prestigious club is a moment that Roman can be proud of for the rest of his life, irrespective of whether this leads to a professional career or not.”