Miguel Ángel Pérez, the boy whose lucky star shone as the Spanish team qualified for the World Cup, has died aged 10 after a lengthy battle against a brain tumour.
Miguel Ángel, from Alhaurín El Grande, died on 8 January. An enthusiastic football supporter, he won the hearts of his local team CD Alhaurino.
His story captivated members of La Roja and other top-level players such as Joaquín, from Betis, and Sergio Ramos, now at PSG.
Last November, Miguel Ángel was finally able to meet his idols in person. He had been promised the encounter in April 2020 by manager Luis Enrique. A day before Spain's World Cup qualifier, Miguel Ángel visited the national team and gifted striker Álvaro Morata a gold star for good luck. When Morata scored against Sweden, he proudly waved the star.
"They tell me that you're one of the best fans we have. Now it's my turn, as a manager, to cheer you on as you did for me. Stay strong, we're the best," said Enrique.
"It was a very happy moment and he cried with excitement. This will do him a lot of good and I'm very grateful. I thank Fundación Pequeño Deseo for making children, like mine, happy," said Miguel Ángel’s mother Lourdes.
When Morata scored, Enrique posted on social media, "You were our star, Miguel Ángel. Morata's goal is for you."