Joshua PynadathJoshua Pynadath is younger than your average trail blazer but, nevertheless,  he will become one in September.

Pynadath, an 11-year-old soccer player from Los Altos Hills, Calif., has become the first American to earn a spot in Real Madrid’s youth academy. Pynadath and his family will move to Spain at the end of August for at least a one-year stint with the Spanish soccer giant, the Los Altos Town Crier reports.

“I was blown away when I got the official news from Real Madrid,” Pynadath said. “They told me that I was the first American that they have ever accepted into their academy. I told them that I would set a good example.”

Pyndath came to Real Madrid’s attention after coaches saw a highlight video in which he played for the De Anza Force Soccer Club. Real Madrid invited him to practice with one of its youth teams last November. He was impressive enough to earn a second look in spring 2013.

“I was really excited to get the news that Real Madrid was inviting me back for another trial,” he continued. “That meant there could be a real chance for me to make the actual Real Madrid academy team. The second trials are usually when they make the decision on if a player is good enough to join their team.

“I received another surprise when I found out that Barcelona was interested in taking a look at me as well.

“Both trials were very serious, as kids are fighting to either keep a spot or to earn a spot.  It was a very good feeling to be able to play well against this top competition since the level and speed of play over there is amazing.”

Pyndath will play for Real’s Alevin A team while attending the American School of Madrid. He is at least a generation (in soccer terms) away from lining up for Real’s famous first team, and only time will tell if he makes it through the club’s youth system or returns to California next year. However it turns out, Pyndath will serve as an example to young players everywhere.

Watch Pynadath in action in the video below.

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