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Rizzo, centre, during the U20 World Rugby Trophy. FanakaStudios
Local rising star helps Spain to U20 World Rugby Trophy win

Local rising star helps Spain to U20 World Rugby Trophy win

Teenager Valentino Rizzo may have moved on to bigger and better things, but he still remembers where it all began for him at just five years of age: Club Rugby Málaga

Cristina Pinto

Malaga

Saturday, 5 August 2023, 15:18

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It's a dream come true for Valentino Rizzo, a young rugby player from Malaga. The 18-year-old recently became a world champion, playing a key role in the Spain side which beat Uruguay 39-32 in the final of the U20 World Rugby Trophy held at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi at the end of July.

"I've always dreamed of representing the national team," he told SUR. "It was a goal I'd set for the long term, but it ended up coming sooner than expected, with a world championship win too!"

Valentino started playing rugby at the age of five with the Club Rugby Málaga, where he grew and developed as a player until he eventually moved to Complutense Cisneros in Madrid last season, where he has also been pursuing a degree in Law.

"This experience has opened my eyes to the importance of continuous effort and has shown me that opportunities are always within reach if you pursue them with passion and dedication," he told this newspaper on his return home.

And despite changing clubs, Rizzo still values the support he receives from Club Rugby Málaga, as they have played a crucial role in his development and growth as a player.

"The support I've received from the people at that club has always made me feel blessed. It means a lot to me that they continue to stand by me, no matter which team I play for. They provided me with the chance to go to a bigger club and keep improving," he said.

"They'll forever remain the team of my heart because rugby has taught me valuable principles and values such as humility, passion, discipline and the importance of setting goals."

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