Wardlaw-Hartridge soccer star trains at Real Madrid Academy

Diogo Ferreira of Hillside, a junior at The Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison

Diogo Ferreira of Hillside, a junior at The Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison

Diogo Ferreira of Hillside, a junior at The Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison, enjoyed the opportunity of a lifetime, a dream for any young soccer player who aspires to play at the professional level.

The Wardlaw-Hartridge soccer standout was invited to the Adidas National Training Program and spent a week with the Real Madrid club team that is widely respected as one of the finest in the world. Diogo was one of 32 players selected to participate in the program.

“It was surreal,” Diogo said. “The kids and the talent were just phenomenal. Their ball control is on a completely different level.”

Diogo, a center attacking midfielder for the Rams and his Elizabeth Panthers club team, excelled at the same position overseas. He trained and played with players from many nations including Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Portugal, Dubai and the Netherlands.

The players trained, watched videos and received evaluations from the coaches. They practiced with academy players at the beautiful Real Madrid Training Complex. They were split into two 16-player squads and Diogo’s team played a 2-2 tie vs. Rayo Vallecano and posted a 1-0 victory over Real Madrid. Diogo recorded assists on all three of his team’s goals.

“It was a great experience,” Diogo said. “It’s my dream to become a professional soccer player and this was a great opportunity for coaches and scouts to see me play.”


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