Antonio Sanabria: Paraguayan teen set for big things

FBL-SOUTHAM-U17-ARG-PARThe 17-year-old forward has been the subject of a lucrative move to Arsenal for much of the summer. However, it now seems that Barcelona have prevented the North London side to prise away one of their most talented young assets from the famed La Masia academy.

Having endured a bitter experience when a young Cesc Fabregas, then 16-years-old, was virtually gazumped by Arsenal, Barca know they must hold on to their young prospects from the ever present hawkish eyes of the Arsenal scouts.

Antonio Sanabria is indeed a talent to look out for and the Paraguayan national team have identified a glorious future in the boy by selecting him for the very first time in the senior side for a glamorous friendly against Germanyon August 14 in Kaiserslautern.

Sanabria is a part of Barcelona’s Juvenil A side, where his work ethic and professionalism have impressed even former Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova.

During the summer, a series of eye catching displays for Paraguay in the U-20 World Cup in Turkey alerted a host of top European clubs including Arsenal but Barcelona are determined to keep hold of the player for a much longer time.

‘Tonny’ Sanabria, as he is popularly called, is undoubtedly a rare talent with a fine physique reminiscent of a young David Trezeguet and the video below will show his maturity, even at such a young age. The video below shows his incredible eye for goals in an under age continental game against Argentina.

The senior Paraguay national team are virtually out of reckoning for next year’s World Cup in Brazil and new boss Victor Genes, formerly the coach of the U-20s, has already begun to rebuild a flagging side by including the teenage sensation Sanabria in a bid to give the nation’s upcoming talents a feel of the international game.

Having Genes as the new national boss, Antonio Sanabria is blessed with the fact that both the player and the coach worked together at the U-20s level and there is ample opportunity to gain tremendous exposure and experience working with the senior pros for a whole week.

It is not sure whether Sanabria will play any part in the game against Germany but it seems like the Paraguayan boss will give his protege enough time to test himself against the mighty Germans.

‘Tonny’ Sanabria’s progress at Barcelona and Paraguay is a testament to the fact that Latin American football is not just restricted to the traditionally enormous pool of Brazilian, Argentinian and Uruguayan talents. Small countries like Paraguay, Chile and Ecuador are not far behind in producing big talents that have enormous potential to take the world by storm if proper care is taken both at the grass root and club levels.

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