The skills of Reece McGillion, 16, helped him beat 7,000 other UK hopefuls to fly to the Italian city with nine other youngsters to spend five weeks at Inter’s training complex, Interello.

He worked with some of the club’s biggest stars, including Patrick Vieira, Javier Zanetti, Samuel Eto’o and Marco Materazzi.

And, living in a luxury villa, Reece received a special insight into Italian football and culture before the club’s head coach, Jose Mourinho, decided who should get the year’s contract.

Reece, a pupil at St John Paul Academy, Summerston, said:

“I could not have wished for a better opportunity.”

He was training with Barrhead Boys’ Club and the coach there encouraged Reece to go to trials in Toryglen for a Sky TV programme entitled Football’s Next Star.

Reece said: “I never thought about how far I would get, I just tried my best to show my skills and was chosen that day as one of the 20 to play a match.”

Inter’s youth coaches Marco Monti and Paolo Migliavacca were impressed with his abilities and invited him to London for the next stage.

Three tough matches later Reece was told he was in the top 10 and was going to fly to Italy to compete for the top prize.

Reece said: “It was the best feeling I have ever had, it was a dream come true.

“Everyone keeps telling me how proud they are and my family and mates have all supported me.”

Reece can’t say what the final outcome was, but he did meet legendary manager Mourinho.

He said: “He was really nice and told me to keep trying hard and to follow my dreams.”

l To find out how Reece did watch Football’s Next Star, Sky 1, Sundays, 8pm.