WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. — Jonny Robinson, 10, beat out dozens of young soccer players in his age group this summer to be selected to play in next year’s inaugural Real Madrid Foundation World Cup in Spain.
- Robinson playing soccer since age 3
- Will join 700 athletes from 45 different countries for event
- RMF World Cup scheduled for April 2020
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“I was like, ‘Yes!’ I just started screaming,” said Jonny of the moment he learned he’d been selected. “It’s a great honor to represent my country.”
Jonny will join more than 700 athletes from 45 different countries for the event.
“He wakes up with the ball, he goes to bed with the ball, and now he has an opportunity to represent his country, which is the biggest honor in the world,” said his mom, Alena Robinson.
The Watergrass Elementary fifth grader started playing soccer when he was just three years old.
“I love it because you can be free with the ball and it just makes you happy and lifts you up, and it’s just fun overall,” he said.
Jonny plays for Florida Premiere Football Club on the Elite 1 team in the local Club Directors League and the Florida Premiere Futures League.
Weeklong tryouts for the RMF World Cup were held in cities across the country, including Orlando. That’s where Jonny spent up to six and a half hours a day on the pitch, demonstrating skills like speed, agility, and technical training.
“Coaches from Real Madrid would come and show the skills, and it would be a tryout, but also a unique opportunity to learn from the coaches in Europe,” said Alena Robinson.
Jonny said he’s getting ready for Madrid by practicing shooting every day with a goal he built in his backyard, private training, and by playing with his team. His mom said the whole family will head to Spain this spring to support him.
“I just want to be like him,” said Jason Robinson, 7. “He’s like leader of the pack, and it takes a lot of success. He’s my brother, and I love him very much.”
Soccer hasn’t gained as much popularity in the U.S. as it has in other countries, but Jonny has some advice for anyone who wants to give the sport a try.
“All I’ve got to say is work hard, train every day. Don’t ask your mom to go on your PlayStation – ask your mom to go outside and shoot, or go to a park and ask your friends to come play a little pickup game,” he said. “Just try your best, work hard, and never give up.”
The RMF World Cup is scheduled to take place in April 2020.