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Anthony Borges, the Barça fan who was the hero of the Florida school shooting on 14 February 2018 when he saved the lives of 20 fellow pupils, is in Barcelona as a guest of FC Barcelona to experience both the city itself and the second leg of the Champions League last 16 tie against Olympique Lyonnais at Camp Nou. For Borges it is a dream come true to travel to Barcelona to meeting his Barça heroes and see a game in the flesh as the Florida hero and his family will visit the FC Barcelona Museum and other attractions in the city.
Jordi Cardoner, FC Barcelona vice president, was the man given the job of welcoming Anthony Borges and his family to Barcelona and Barça. The young man, now 16 years of age, was a pupil in 2016 at the Barça Academy in Lauderhill, Florida in the United States.
Borges acted in the most heroic of manners when an armed gunman burst into the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The attacker opened fire on several of Borges’ classmates and the youngster, aware of the danger, locked himself and other students in to a classroom to avoid the gunman. The killer tried to get into the room but Anthony blocked the door to prevent him from entering. The assailant, a former student of the school, fired various times hitting Anthony with five bullets in his back and limbs. Thanks to his bravery, his schoolmates escaped the attack unharmed.
Barça heard about Anthony via the journalist Santiago Segurola and via the Barça Academy programme the Club made contact with the family to offer their help. Anthony is of Venezuelan heritage and a football fanatic and from his hospital bed he showed his love for Barça. The Club followed his recovery and made themselves available in whatever capacity was needed. The former vice president Manel Arroyo visited Anthony at home in Florida to see how he was getting on during his recovery.
The Barça players also found out about Anthony’s story, which was widely covered in the US media, via the photo of a local sheriff taking his hand in the hospital, an image that went viral around the world. The squad signed a shirt for the boy in honour of his bravery after putting his life on the line to save his classmates.
As a result of injuries, the youngster’s life was in the balance but after many months of medical care in hospital he recovered and now his health is much improved. In light of this, FC Barcelona have helped him make the trip to Barcelona to make his dream of seeing Barça play in the flesh come true.
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