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Dundalk youngster takes part in World Cup opening ceremony

Dundalk youngster takes part in World Cup opening ceremony

A youngster from Dundalk took part in yesterday’s opening ceremony at the World Cup in Russia.

12-year-old Daniel McCabe was chosen to carry the Irish flag in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium before the opening match between the hosts and Saudi Arabia, which was watched by billions across the globe.

Daniel and another Irish boy, Daniel Mihaliov (12) from Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, took part in the festivities after playing in the ‘Football for Friendship’ tournament organised by Russian energy monopoly Gazprom, a FIFA sponsor.

Daniel’s mother Anastasia McCabe, who moved to Ireland from St Petersburg in 2001, told The Irish Times: “He is so proud to be representing his country and to carry the tricolour.

“Daniel had to do a whole application, an essay and photo for the application to take part and he’s so excited to be here.”

The Football for Friendship tournament sees 12-year-old boys and girls from 211 countries taking part in a tournament involving 32 teams.

Daniel, who plays as a defender for Quay Celtic FC, played in three games for a team called Magellanic Penguin, which was made up of children from New Zealand, Mozambique, Chad, Bermuda, and Tahiti.

The Ugandan coach of the team could not find a goalkeeper so Daniel played in goal as well as in defence. They won one game and lost two to finish third in their group.

After the opening ceremony, Daniel was given a prime seat in the stadium where he cheered Russia on to a 5-0 win.

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