Cristiano Ronaldo. Gareth Bale. Moss Caney?
Caney, a Nelson native, is on his way to the home of the best soccer club in the world after a surprise invite from Adidas to attend a Real Madrid training camp.
Yes, that Real Madrid. The Spanish giants who just won their third consecutive Champions League title and in August will host a 16-year-old midfielder who can’t believe this is actually happening.
“I’ve been trying to wrap my head around it,” says Caney.
Earlier this year Nelson Soccer Association executive director Sveta Tisma was contacted about the training camp by Adidas, which sponsors the local organization’s uniforms. Fifteen Canadian players would be picked for an invite-only program hosted by Real Madrid.
Tisma thought of Caney, who was the right age for the invite, and contacted his father Paul.
The Caneys emigrated from Amsterdam where Moss was born and came to Nelson in 2002. When Tisma suggested Caney apply, he was playing soccer and living with his grandparents in Holland. The family put together what was essentially a kind of soccer resume, sent it in to Adidas and waited.
Evidently, someone was impressed.
“I’ve played multiple places, like the BCSPL, which is the highest you can go in B.C. for my age, and I’ve played in Holland at a high level,” said Caney. “In Holland soccer is really good and everyone there plays too. It’s crazy to me that [I’m playing in] Nelson, and then playing in Madrid. It’s just a crazy step.”
The camp takes place Aug. 11 to 19. Caney will work with Real Madrid Foundation coaches at the team’s training centre, play two games against Spanish players, and tour the capital city.
Paul Caney said he hopes the trip leads to more opportunities for his son.
“Realistically, the high end of expectations for anyone from a Canadian town, large or small, would be maybe to get a scholarship in soccer to go to university. This opportunity, in and of itself, is a big deal.”