Watch out Luka, here comes Bepo


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Bepo Malbasa is a seven-year-old Grade 2 student at Const. Edward Finney School.

“Gym is my favourite class,” he said. “You can play soccer and have lots of fun in gym. Madame Herosian is my teacher. She helps us learn and she is nice. I like my teacher.”

Bepo is very serious about his favourite sport.

Supplied photo

Bepo Malbasa poses in the colours of the Croatian national soccer team in front of the family Christmas tree.

“I have been playing soccer since I was four,” he told me. “I played Timbits and took part in academy training with Winnipeg Phoenix FC. I like playing against other players. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. When you lose it is OK.”

Like most soccer fans over the past four weeks, Bepo has been watching a lot of soccer.

“I love watching the World Cup,” he said. “My favourite team is Croatia. My favourite player is Luka Modric. He is a good player. He is a good team leader. He is really good with the ball and he makes everyone around him better.”

Bepo has also been having fun training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He has a white belt with four stripes.

“It is fun to train and battle. I train three days a week at Don’t Survive Thrive Academy. It is hard work, but it is a lot of fun,” he explained.

Bepo lives in Mandalay West with his dad Marco and mom Jenni.

“I love my mom and dad. My dad plays soccer with me in the basement and my mom reads to me lots.”

Bepo has big dreams when he grows up and it sounds like Canadian national team manager John Herdman will have some work to do to recruit young Bepo.

“I want to play for Croatia when I grow up,” he said. “I don’t think I want to play for Canada. I think I would rather play with Luka Modric than with Alphonso Davies.”

Bepo has a great personality, and he knows it is important to work hard to chase your dreams and he offers this advice to all athletes:

“Practise lots and listen to your mom and dad.”

Troy Westwood

Troy Westwood
Westwood's Sports Heroes

Former Winnipeg Blue Bombers kicker Troy Westwood writes about Winnipeg’s unsung sports heroes every other week in the Canstar Community News weeklies.

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