Former Barcelona teen dubbed 'Irish Messi' back in Irish international underage setup

Former Barcelona teen dubbed 'Irish Messi' back in Irish international underage setup

ZAK GILESNAN is a name that you might be familiar with.

Zak Gilesnan was making headlines when he was just a kid, as the Castleknock lad, incredibly, was playing for Barcelona at just 10 years of age.

Famously, he scored seven goals in the final trial game to confirm his place at the iconic club, and was given the nickname of the 'Irish Messi' as a result.

His long hair, which he has since trimmed, might have also played a part in that too.

Since then his career has been quite a fascinating one.

The teenager, who was born in Australia, represented some of Australia's youth team sides, and had seemingly made the decision to declare for the nation instead of Ireland.

But just this week, he has been called up to an Irish underage squad being coached by Tom Mohan.

This isn't just exciting because of his underage accolades as a child with Barcelona, he has also been catching eyes at Blackburn Rovers.

He has been playing for the Rovers under 18 team this season, with many impressed by his performances.

After spending a bit of time with Liverpool, it seems like he's feeling at home at Blackburn, according to a recent interview with the young lad.

He said that the best thing about the club is the atmosphere around the place, saying: "It’s very positive and we have some good lads in the squad."

While hopes back in the day were that he would be a teen sensation who would lead us to glory in Qatar in 2022 did not come to fruition, we would settle for a young lad with a bit of creativity in the Irish ranks at this point.

Gilesnan is part of the underage squad that Jon Walters is helping out with, with the controversial former Ireland international Stephen Ireland's son also included in the training camp.