Mamadou with Messi and Iniesta during his visit to the Ciudad Deportiva. PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ

Mamadou Lamine is nine years old and was born with the rare Peters anomaly which means he was born blind, a disability which hasn’t stopped him listening to Barça games on the radio and following his heroes.

The Fundación FC Barcelona organised for Mamadou to fulfil one of his dreams: to meet the first team players at a training session at the Ciudad Deportiva. Although the youngster was nervous at first, he soon lightened up and asked Messi “why do you always take the penalties?” Abidal, Thiago, Alexis and Xavialso spoke to the young boy from Lerida, who is of Senegalese origin and took home a shirt signed by the players, as well as a number of Barça merchandising articles.

After meeting the players, the first team delegate Carlos Naval took him into the stands where he explained every detail of the training session. Before he received a special gift of the gloves Victor Valdes was using in training and the ball the players used, Mamadou explained: “I can’t wait to hear the Milan game!”.

As part of its concern for youngsters in difficult situations, La Fundación FC Barcelona, organises regular visits to training sessions for sick children to allow them to meet their heroes. This work is done in tandem with the Fundación Ilusiones® / Make a Wish® Spain, the Fundación Pequeño Deseo and with the help and collaboration of the first team players, staff and coaches.