Mahrez Makes A Wish Come True For Young Foxes Fan

Riyad Mahrez helped make a wish come true last week when Michael DeFalco, a young Leicester City supporter from the United States who has cystic fibrosis, visited the Club’s training ground.

Michael cheered the Foxes on from Illinois last season as they shocked the world to lift the Premier League trophy but he would have been forgiven for thinking that a visit across the pond to meet his title-winning heroes in person would be a miracle too far.   

After the Make A Wish Foundation stepped in last month, however, his trip of a lifetime quickly became a reality and a flight to the East Midlands was arranged. Last Friday, Michael and his father Louis were greeted after training by Mahrez, his favourite City player, at Belvoir Drive.   

Mahrez arrived with a bag of presents for Michael to take back to the USA with him – including a signed pair of his boots and an official City shirt – before the duo enjoyed a kick-about in the training ground’s gym. Back home, Michael undergoes daily breathing treatments to counteract his cystic fibrosis between football classes. 

The Make A Wish Foundation strives to give children and young people like him an experience they will never forget. After contacting the Club earlier this season, it was arranged for Michael to be a mascot for the Premier League clash against Stoke City at King Power Stadium on Saturday. 

Unsurprisingly, he chose Mahrez when given the opportunity to select which player he would prefer to walk out with ahead of kick-off. Speaking to LCFC TV on Friday afternoon, Michael said: “Before I came, I was thinking ‘oh man’ this is going to be fun. He brought me a bag of stuff with a ball signed by the whole team, his Leicester shirt and other really cool stuff.   

“I like Mahrez and if he thinks I’m good then hopefully I can be really good someday. He is really fast, I love his skills. He is not afraid to use them either. When they won the title, that was pretty exciting and fun to watch.   

Watching the matches at home is like you’re at the stadium because we had our friends over watching it. I’m getting really excited to be a mascot tomorrow but a little nervous too. It'll be really cool.

Michael DeFalco

Michael’s dad, Louis, couldn’t hide his happiness on the sidelines at the training ground, saying this is a trip his son will never forget: “This is unbelievable. It’s an opportunity of lifetime for him. We have to get up early to watch the games back home in Chicago. 

“We both fell in love with the team last season. When we asked him what his wish was, he just wanted to come and train with Mahrez. Having grown up playing football myself, seeing how passionate he is about Leicester has been amazing. With cystic fibrosis, there are a lot of daily treatments he has to do. 

“Playing football keeps him healthy and clears the lungs. He has had a tough year so this is fantastic. When he told us what his wish was, we knew how difficult it would be to make it happen. He’s been so excited.”

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