MADRID -- Real Madrid has signed a 7-year-old soccer prodigy from Argentina who goes by the name Leo - just like his idol, Barcelona forward Lionel Messi.
Leonel Angel Coira signed with the Spanish club and will begin training Sept. 6, Madrid spokesman Juan Tapiador told The Associated Press on Monday.
Madrid reportedly made the push to sign Coira because Spanish league rival Atletico Madrid also was pursuing the youngster.
Barcelona signed Messi as a teenager and he has won the World Player of the Year award two times.
LeBron not looking elsewhere: LeBron James says he is so "optimistic" the coming NBA season will be played that he is not considering any possible international options - except for the 2012 Olympics. James, who has been working in Houston with Hakeem Olajuwon this offseason, insists he will be "even better" this coming season for the Miami Heat, which lost in the NBA Finals.
James was in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, to open "Wheels for Education," a program to provide more than 300 third-graders from Akron Public Schools academic tools they need.
Alex Meruelo, a 48-year-old California developer and pizza chain owner, vowed to do everything he can to bring a championship to Atlanta if his agreement to purchase a majority share of the NBA's Hawks is approved by the league.
Bulls grab win with late double play: The Durham Bulls held on to win a 6-5 Class AAA International League game Monday against Rochester. Adam Russell pitched the ninth inning, getting a double play to work around a leadoff hit and earn his first save of the season. Alex Torres picked up his team-leading eighth win by going five innings and allowing six hits and four runs, while striking out six. The team will continue their four-game series at 7:05 tonight.
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