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Child footballers show up the professionals in display of compassion

These 12 and 13 year olds have shown their grown–up peers a thing or two about sportsmanship. Photo: supplied/ Barcelona FC
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Classy. Professional. Sportsmanlike.

Words not often used to describe soccer players these days – but this football team is gaining world attention for exactly those qualities.

The players are 12 and 13 years old.

A video of Barcelona’s Infantil B side has been posted to YouTube showing the children, from La Masia, comforting their Japanese opposition players after beating them in the final of the World Challenge Cup in Tokyo over the weekend.

The Barcelona under–13s won 1–0 thanks to a goal by Xavi Planas, and after the final whistle many of the Omva players were in tears.

The after–match reaction has been posted to YouTube:

Barcelona’s youth teams are arguably the most famous in the world, thanks to the La Masia academy, which has produced countless superstars over the years.

But on this occasion, rather than bask in their success, the Spanish children consoled their opponents and offered words of advice, with the captain urging the devastated losers to keep their heads up.

He then led his side to a bow in front of the crowd.

Spanish newspapers are calling the boys one of the best generations ever produced by the academy.

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