Discover other promises of national football that followed to the Old Continent after a meteoric start to their careers.
Endrick’s performances in the first two rounds of the Copa São Paulo de Futebol Junior not only drew the attention of Palmeiras supporters. So far, the 15-year-old attacker has been the tournament’s biggest star, attracting the interest of European football’s biggest clubs.
Endrick scored four goals within just 90 minutes on the field – he only played half of each of the first two games – and has already started training with Verdao’s first team under the supervision of the club’s coaching staff in the final nine days of January.
After scoring two goals against Assu-RN and Real Ariquemes-RO, Palmeiras fans began to demand that the young athlete be promoted to the professional team and hence contribute to the two-time Libertadores champion club. He will only be permitted to play with the club’s senior shirt after he becomes 16 years old, according to FIFA rules. This will only be possible on March 7th, the player’s birthday.
Even if you don’t play professionally, you might still be amused by headlines. The Spanish newspaper “As” published an article on January 10 suggesting that Endrick is the “next Vincius Junior” and that Real Madrid are interested in signing him. Dudu, an admirer and current Palmeiras player, declared in a recent interview with the SporTV station that the promise will be “one of the best number nines in Brazil.”
The interest of European clubs in Brazilian football’s jewels, primarily Real Madrid, is nothing new, especially for players who shined in Copinha.
Other Brazilian players at Real Madrid
In recent years, the world’s most powerful football club has made it a point to attract young Brazilian players. Endrick might be the next player to follow in the footsteps of famous football players, as seen below.
Vini Jr’s career soared to new heights. When he was 16 years old, he made his Flamengo debut in the 2017 So Paulo Junior Football Cup. He was already called up to the Brazilian national team by coach Tite two years after establishing himself as one of Real Madrid’s main players. He was sold to the Spanish club for €45 million (R$164 million) in 2017. The striker, on the other hand, did not make his new club’s debut until July 2018, when he was 18 years old. There was interest in his hiring during Copinha’s tenure, and preliminary conversations had taken place.
“Rayo,” as he is known, has succeeded in Santos’ youth categories since he was 11 years old. He was, for example, the top scorer for Paulisto U-17 in 2017, scoring 24 goals in just 22 games. As a result, Real Madrid decided to purchase him a year later for €45 million (R$193 million at the time). Although he has been called up to the Brazilian senior team on many times since the November 2019 friendly against Argentina and South Korea, he has yet to establish himself as the club’s main starter.
The striker shined for Flamengo in the 2018 Copa do Brasil Sub-17, hitting the game-winning goals for the team. He was promoted to the professional team a few months later, and his remarkable performances caught the attention of the Spanish capital’s heavyweights. Real Madrid announced in January 2020 that they have reached an agreement with the Rio de Janeiro club to transfer the pledge for €30 million (about R$135 million at the time). Reinier, on the other hand, was the least used of the three players chosen in the new team. He has been on loan at Borussia Dortmund in Germany since 2020, where he is also looking for a place to call home.
They shone in Copinha and went to Europe
Real Madrid are not the only European giant keeping an eye on Brazil’s youth competitions. Examples of players that shined in the Copa So Paulo de Futebol Junior and then went on to play for prominent European clubs shortly after may be found in the list below.
- Alexandre Pato, who played in the 2006 Cup and went on to play a key role in Internacional’s World Cup victory a few months later. He went to Milan from Italy in early 2007 for €24 million (R$67 million at the time). He has been playing for Orlando City in Orlando, Florida, since 2021.
- Marquinhos: in the 2012 Copinha, the Brazilian team’s starting defense made his debut for the world of football. His remarkable performances won him a berth in the first squad for a short time until he was moved to Roma in Italy for €8.2 million (R$20.5 million at the time). He has been at PSG in France since 2013.
- Gabriel Jesus: Manchester City spent €32 million (about R$108 million) to conclude his deal after his impressive performances for Palmeiras in the 2015 Copinha and 2016 Brasileirão. He is still at the club and is a frequent call-up for coach Tite’s Brazilian national squad.
Do you think Endrick can live up to the expectations and become a great player like the others mentioned? Time will tell, but we hope he grows into a fantastic player who can contribute to the Brazilian national team in the future.