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Humble super-hero: meet France’s real-life Spider-Man

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Humble super-hero: meet France’s real-life Spider-Man

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His life has been turned upside down.

Just last week, Mamoudou Gassama was an undocumented Malian migrant living on the outskirts of Paris. That was before he became known as France’s real-life "Spider-Man" for scaling a building to rescue a little boy dangling from a balcony.

Gassama has since met with the French president and been offered both French residency and the prospect of a job at Paris' fire brigade. He sat down with Euronews' correspondent Anelise Borges, who says he's a rather shy and humble young man.

He told her he wasn't scared while climbing the building to reach the four-year-old boy, who was unsupervised and hanging precariously from a fourth-storey balcony. It was only moments later as a crowd of bystanders erupted into applause that Gassama fully realised what he'd done: "When I saved the child and we got into the apartment, that’s when I started shaking."

During the interview, Gassama also recounted some previous acts of bravery that did not make headlines: how he crossed the Mediterranean to reach Europe, first fleeing Mali through Burkina Faso, Niger and also Libya, where he said "they treat us like slaves."

Gassama says the person he would like to meet now is Zinedine Zidane, France's football legend. "In fact, back in my village everyone used to call me Zidane," he said.

Watch the full interview below as it aired on Good Morning Europe, Euronews’ daily morning show anchored by Tesa Arcilla, live from our headquarters in Lyon.