Gabriel Paniagua: “Dreaming is the first step to success”

Gabriel Paniagua began his way to soccer at four years old with the support of his father, although he wasn’t a big soccer fan, he encouraged him to work to achieve his dreams in the sport.
At 18, Gabriel began to fulfill his dreams, and he is already part of the U-18 National Team. And he has several offers from different Universities. This young midfielder is a very complete player: he defends very well and he also scores goals, and because of playing in this position is a great admirer of Andres Iniesta, the midfielder of Barcelona.

How do you feel about being part of the U.S. National Team?
It is an unforgettable experience, when you’re in front of millions of people representing your country is something so great that it cannot be expressed in words.

Since when have you been part of the U.S. National Team?
The first time they called me was in the summer of 2015. I have already played several times with them, in California, Sweden and Florida.

How did you get scouted in soccer?
They saw me in the “Showcase of the Academy’s Playoff”, of my team Kendall Soccer Coalition. The U-18 coach observed me and called me to be part of the team.

What others dreams do you have with soccer?
I want to be a professional player and play in Europe.
But I am also ready to go wherever soccer takes me. And continue on the U.S. National Team.

What would you say to others boys, who also want to fulfill their dreams?
The first thing is to dream, but you also have to work hard, go to training several days a week. You too have to train by yourself when there’s no training with your team.

How do you manage time between studying and training?
I believe there’s a balance between soccer and studying. I’m devoted to soccer but I’m also a good student. I like to study. My priority on weekends is soccer, if there are games, I concentrate on that. And leave social life for later.

How do you prepare physically?
I go to the gym 2 or 3 times. On Monday after the matches, we have a break and I fill my bathtub with ice cubes: it helps me recover.

What are your eating habits?
I personally care a lot for my feeding. In soccer
You can’t be eating ice cream or fried food every day. One day before the game I drink 5 bottles of water and after matches I drink chocolate milk.

1. Name: Gabriel Paniagua
2. Age: 17 years old
3. Where do you study?: Ransom Everglades School
4. Favorite international team: Barcelona
5. Favorite international player: Andrés Iniesta
6. Favorite movie: Focus
7. Book: Great Gatsby
8. Singer: Drake
9. Song: Headlines
10. Awards earned:
Sports: Called to play with the U-18 U.S. Team.
Academic: Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society, French Honor Society.
11. One word that defines your personality: Responsible
12. Something you hate: negative people
13. Favorite food: French fries with beaf
14. Your best friends: My soccer team
15. Pet: A dog….named Mikey
17. Family: Alfonso (Dad), Cynthia (Mom), Monica (Sister), y Andrea (Sister)
18. Besides soccer you like: Playing tennis, school, and enjoying time with friends and family.
19. Favorite place: Casa de Campo, La Romana. (Dominican Republic)

“My Kendall teammates are very proud of my triumphs. They support me a lot!”

“Gabriel is a complete midfielder, defends and reads the game very well and he also scores goals. He is organized in his way of playing and very serious about training. He’s an excellent student who comes from a spectacular family”

Matias Asorey
Academy Director Kendall SC