Life has an extraordinary way of changing things around and 14-year-old R Manikandan from Kerala is a burning example of this. Manikandan is a name that doesn’t sound familiar, but once you get to know his story, he will be near to impossible to ignore.


The 14-year-old has become the talk of the town after obtaining a month-long training with none other than Real Madrid – one of the world’s most famous and famous football clubs. The 14-year-old will be seen sweating it out with the popular stars of the Spanish club during his one-month stay.

R Manikandan is all set to fly to Italy for his month-long trip to Madrid in July, following which football lovers in the southern city will plan to deliver him either to the US or a Latin American country for more high-performance training.

From walking the roads in Kerala, begging for alms with his sis as a seven-year-old, to now anticipating to his month-long stay in  Spain alongside the stars of iconic La Liga club Real Madrid, life really took an amazing turn for R Manikandan, now older 14.

While training with Los Blancos is really a life-changing chance, it’s Manikandan’s visit to this very point that has struck a chord with the Indian football fans. Just like the football a great, life was not passed to him on a silver platter, he had to do their best to achieve this level. An under-16 player, Manikandan now symbolizes the district and Football Plus Professional Soccer Academy in Chennai.