Brazil teen Endrick is next in line to succeed at Real Madrid, following £60m transfer, and is heir to Neymar's throne | The Sun
THROUGH the decades Brazil has produced generational talents who have taken the game to another level.
Pele, Zico, Ronaldo, and Neymar all became icons of their own era – with some of those showcasing their talents on the European stage.
The next in line to follow those luminaries is Endrick, 17 only in July, but who is already carrying the weight of expectation of a nation desperate for success.
It's been 21 years since the Samba Boys last won the World Cup.
However, a golden generation is on its way. And it's being made at Real Madrid, with the expectation they will lead their country to glory.
In 2022, it was announced Los Blancos had signed Endrick on a huge £60million deal.
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He will join his fellow countryman Vinicius Jr, who has established himself as one of Europe's most feared wingers, and the talented Rodrygo who has still to find his feet in Spain.
For this season, Endrick is playing for Palmeiras, where he has trained since he was just 11, before he will link up with his new teammates in the 2024.
The buzz about his natural ability began when he was just a kid,
"I don't see a ceiling for him."
As is with the modern age, Endrick's youth career has played out on social media.
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Just type in his name on YouTube and hundreds of videos will appear of the youngster bamboozling the opposition.
From scoring goals from the halfway line to beating four or five men or overhead kicks, his repertoire for the spectacular is there to see in a variety of clips.
In five years he reportedly scored 165 goals in 169 games for Palmeiras youth teams.
While in 2021, he attracted plenty of attention when he played in the Campeonato Paulista finals in three different age categories: U15, U17 and U20.
Around that time, the club's academy director Joao Paulo Sampaio tipped the teenager for the world stage.
"If injuries respect him, I don't see a ceiling for him," Sampaio told AS. "As far as is humanly possible.
"He has quality, a strong personality and a champion mentality. In that regard, he resembles Cristiano (Ronaldo). He trains hard, is kind and has humility. We love him very much because he makes himself loved. He tries to please everyone around him.
"He has everything to be a world star in the future."
On his own game, Endrick has said: "I'll always fight. I'll be persistent and try until the last minute I'm in the game. I never give up, I pressure defenders, I run more than anyone else on the pitch."
Labelled the 'hottest commodity in Brazilian football', it was inevitable Endrick would break some records.
He made his debut in 2022, aged just 16 years two months and 16 days – becoming the youngest debutant in Palmeiras' history.
Just shy of three weeks later, the talent announced his arrival with a brace in a 3-1 win over Athletico Paranaense.
His two goals weren't enough to break Toninho de Matos' youngest goalscorer record in the Brazilian championship achieved in 1978 at just 15.
But, after all the hype and talk, Endrick delivered and had landed.
A scramble for his signature would begin.
Europe's top clubs linked
Chelsea, Manchester City, Real Madrid, PSG were just some of the clubs romanticising with the idea of bringing Endrick to their club.
The Blues moved fast, inviting him to their Cobham training ground.
The Premier League giants put on a show to convince him his future belonged in England.
They enlisted the help of Brazil icon Thiago Silva to sell the project to Endrick.
Many at Stamford Bridge felt that had done the trick, although a stumbling block was said to be the contract on offer – with an element of the deal performance-related.
Months later, Endrick's head was turned when he visited the Ciudad Real Madrid training ground.
First, he was taken aback by the incredible facilities on offer.
Second, the pathway to the first team appeared more plausible. Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo had similarly been plucked from Brazilian football at a huge cost, and had become established first team stars.
There was nothing stopping Endrick from doing the same.
Real, who had been chasing their man for years and coordinated with the same scout who found Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo and Federico Valverde to seal the deal, had got their man.
But all hasn't gone to plan
The 14-times Champions League winners paid a premium of £60m for the then 16-year-old.
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