Santos starlet 'Gabigol' signs first professional contract
Santos have tied down Brazilian starlet Gabriel Barbosa to a three-year professional contract, which has a €50 million release clause.
The 16-year-old midfielder, who likes to be known as 'Gabigol', already earned as much as a professional footballer but he has now put pen to paper on his first official professional contract at the Vila Belmiro.
The agreement was confirmed by Santos' football director, Felipe Faro, and the player's father, Valdemir Almeida Silva, who revealed the value of his release clause to be €50 million (about $131 million).
Valdemir Almeida Silva said: "We are happy. Our entire family is Santos.
"We had proposals from Europe and Brazil but we prefer Santos, who have welcomed Gabriel since he was eight years old."
Gabigol, who has scored 9 goals in the Under-17 Championship this year, has followed fellow 16-year-old Victor Andrade into the professional ranks, who also has a high release clause.
Gabigol said: "It is a lot of money, I am impressed. It is fine for Victor, but I think Santos did the right thing. I trust them, my father and Wagner [Ribeiro].
"It is the best for me. I am now reaping the benefits of what began eight years. I want to stay, I'm very happy at Santos.
"I want to train and play well enough to be able to climb and work with Neymar, Arouca and Victor himself. The faster you climb the better, but I still need to learn a lot at the base."
Gabriel, who has represented Brazil since the age of 14, was discovered by former Santos player, Zito, when he attracted attention during a game of futsal for São Paulo.