I Wanna Be Messi

Shortlist 2020

Antonio Aragon Renuncio

"I have always loved photography and stories." 

Antonio Aragon Renuncio has been teaching photography for over 17 years in several universities. Antonio writes about photography. His work has been published across digital and print media internationally. Founder/director of Nostromo Photographers Association (Spain), editor in Xplorer Magazine (Nicaragua), CEO of Xtreme PhotoWS (Burkina Faso), founder, leads the NGO OASIS.

Antonio has participated in more than 250 exhibitions worldwide and won more than 200 prizes: UNICEF, LBS, HIPA, Xposure, Direct Look, POYLatam, UNESCO, EPOTY, LifePressPhoto, PhotoVisa, SIPA, PX3 and others.

The Compromise

I Wanna Be Messi

Soccer is not a privilege; it is a right. According to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, soccer is a universal "language" for millions of people around the world regardless of their nationality, language or religion.

In Bombouaka, Togo, there is a centre for kids with disabilities. It aims to provide them with special care to improve their quality of life. In Africa, disabled children are at high risk of being abused or/and abandoned by their families. It is believed that divine punishment causes a disability. These children (known as "snakes" as they lie on the ground) are considered "demons". They are drowned into the river according to the ritual "for the serpent to leave".

However, at Don Orione Center, it's all about soccer. They all are Messis and Cristiano Ronaldos. Everything is about FC Barcelona & Real Madrid C.F. Children are happy and free there. Soccer, as one of the most popular sports on Earth, brings them peace and freedom. For many, it is more than just a game; it is a lifestyle. Every kid is dreaming of being the star player in this  'beautiful game' in search of their next goal.