Barcelona says it has sent a signed team jersey to the student who was credited with saving the lives of at least 20 other students during a school shooting in the United States two weeks ago.
The club says it will also help organize a meeting between the first-team players and 15-year-old Anthony Borges, who was shot five times during the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.
Borges' father told the club his son always dreamed of traveling to Spain to meet with Barcelona's players. Wearing a#MSDStrong t-shirt, a tribute hashtag to the shooting victims, Royer Borges said Anthony smiled so wide when he listened to the voice message they received from the soccer club, right before he was about to head into surgery.
"Dad, I want to get out of here because we have to go to Barcelona," Royer recalled what his son told him.
The club said the teenager played for two months at Barcelona's youth academy near Fort Lauderdale in 2016.
He said it has always been Anthony's dream since their family migrated to the U.S. "Every since we arrived here, imagine arriving somewhere and not having anything, starting over from scratch, but more than that, putting your child where he wants to be, he wanted to play for Barca."
Lionel Messi was among the players who signed the jersey sent to Borges.
Anthony's friend Carlos Rodriguez told ABC's "Good Morning America" that the two rushed to hide in a nearby classroom when they first heard gunshots. He says no one knew what to do, but that Borges "took the initiative to just save his other classmates."
Barcelona said its soccer academy is currently working with 159 boys and girls of different ages on its site at Central Broward Regional Park, which is just 30 minutes away from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.