Some athletes are born with great skill, and blessed with physical attributes to impress even the toughest of scouts. Some athletes grind day in and day out, putting in the work where others might stop, constantly smashing barriers and expectations with sheer force of will. The rarest athletes combine these two traits to become something special, and Romeo Poniat-Guimaraes is beginning to look like he is something very special. Romeo’s soccer career started early, as a baby he was walking at just 8 and a half months old and dribbling a soccer ball less than a year after that. Romeo’s talent and love for soccer have stuck with him ever since.
In December of 2018, Romeo was accepted to play with the U8 - U10 players at the Oakville Futsal Club, under the direction of coach Eddy Berdusco. Berdusco, who has represented Canada and played in the FIFA Futsal World Cup mentored Romeo from a young age, having seen so much potential in him. At the time Romeo began training with Berdusco and the U8 - U10 players, he was only 4 years old. This early experience allows Romeo to see the soccer pitch with the vision of a much more experienced player, as he has a high IQ for creating the right play and setting up his teammates. Constantly training with older teammates, Romeo has taken his natural talent for the game and applied a “no days off, no excuses” mentality to excel on the pitch.
Not even a year later, in September of 2019, Romeo had an amazing opportunity in Europe to train with Benfica and Sporting CP, two of Portugal's top soccer academies. The culture and influence in Portugal inspired Romeo to train even harder back in Canada, and to share his new knowledge with his friends and teammates. A few months after returning from Portugal, Romeo took the initiative to set up soccer drills for his classmates during recess, becoming the founder and leader of his school's soccer club.
Romeo’s ideal training schedule has him training 5 times a week with various coaches and players, including big names such as David Velastegui, Sergiu Anton, and Alex Kurasz. These professionals have seen Romeo’s raw talent and played an integral role in cultivating it to grow Romeo as a player. Always improving, Romeo has been working on his core strength, ball handling skills, and much more. Currently Romeo is waiting to return to Portugal, where he plans on further expanding his skill set, and continuing to excel as a future soccer star. Be sure to keep an eye out for the name Romeo Poniat-Guimaraes, as it could be a household name in soccer very soon.