As German soccer fans raised a beer stein to the national team’s fourth World Cup title, one Calgary footballer was also toasting his personal success in Deutschland.
On his 18th birthday, Caniggia (Ginola) Elva signed a four-year deal Monday to play high-level professional football in Stuttgart, Germany.
“It’s big for our club,” said Ramon Mifflin, director of the Southwest United Soccer Association. “We couldn’t be happier that Germany just won the World Cup — and he’s there.”
The Caribbean-born Elva is the son of a former national striker, and the relative of a national defender. However, he didn’t play organized soccer until suiting up in Calgary at 11 years old.
After getting one good look from the German scouts, the speedster returned overseas in early May to continue chasing a professional career.
He’ll keep on training at the German academy with other young players on the under-19 and under-23 teams.
“If he develops early, who knows where it will take him,” said Mifflin, adding the four-year contract “shows the commitment and the promise they see in this young man.”
Mifflin also mentioned Elva was “thinking of his friends and family of St. Lucia.”