Parkland survivor fulfills dream of meeting Barcelona soccer team

PARKLAND, FLA. (WSVN) - A teen who survived the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School traveled to Spain in order to fulfill his goal of returning to the soccer field, amid a recovery loved ones have described as miraculous.

Anthony Borges was hailed a hero after he put his life at risk while trying to save classmates from a hail of bullets, but the teen said he doesn’t want to be regarded as one.

“I don’t think I want to be called a hero,” he said during an interview featured in a new documentary about his trip overseas.

“I think the definition for him is different. [For him], a hero doesn’t get hurt. That’s why he say, ‘Why do you call me hero?'” said his father, Royer Borges. “‘If I get five bullets, I can’t play football again.”

After spotting the gunman, Anthony raced inside a nearby classroom, closed the door and blocked it with his body in an attempt to save others.

“I thought I was going to die, and if I was going to die, I was going to close the door and give the other people a chance to get out and save themselves,” he said through a translator.

For his sacrifice, Anthony suffered bullet wounds to both legs and his back. His shattered bones were replaced with rods.

“They removed part of the liver. They removed part of the lung,” said Emily Delfin, the teen’s mother.

Anthony has endured a long and painful road to recovery.

“It was hard because I couldn’t take a shower, brush my teeth, go to the bathroom,” he said.

At one point, doctors said he wouldn’t be able to walk again, but the teen continued to defy expectations, and last month, one of his dreams became a reality.

Anthony and his family were personally invited to Spain to meet Futbol Club Barcelona, his dream team.

“When we watched the news, the club decided that this guy is inspiring us,” said Carlos Martin with GC Barcelona Academy. “We want to help and support the family and Anthony.”

Anthony received the news about the team’s invitation as he was going into yet another surgery.

“I was like, ‘What? This is — no, not real. Maybe I’m asleep,'” he said.

The documentary crew filming the teen and his parents captured every moment of the once-in-a-lifetime journey.

“It’s amazing. I don’t have words to describe how beautiful this is,” said Anthony.

Anthony even got the chance to literally kick it at Barcelona Academy before taking in a game at Camp Nou Stadium.

“We never thought he would be able to walk. Now he can run,” said Delfin.

Ever humble, Anthony remains filled with gratitude. He said the trip has renewed his spirit to keep his dream of playing soccer alive.

“I really want to play now,” he said.

If you would like to view the documentary in its entirety, click here.

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