Real Madrid-bound star Endrick is just 17 but already has his own entourage including a chef, physios and marketing gurus – and he’s signed to Jay-Z’s agency! The £51m man is ready for his Brazil bow
- Endrick had played seven times for Palmeiras when Real agreed a £52m deal
- He is poised to make his debut in the famous yellow jersey on Thursday night
- It’s baffling why Guardiola sold Palmer to a rival club – It’s All Kicking Off
Every once in a while, a genius emerges from Brazil. Pele in the late Fifties, Zico 15 years later. Ronaldo in the mid-Nineties and Ronaldinho following quickly behind him. Now, a new magician is ready for global stardom.
Endrick had played just seven times for Palmeiras last December when Real Madrid agreed a £52.5million deal for him to join them when he turns 18 in July next year.
His star rose when he scored 165 goals in 169 games for Palmeiras’s youth teams, and he snubbed Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain to join his national team-mates Vinicius Jnr and Rodrygo in Madrid. on Thursday night, aged 17 years and 118 days, he is expected to make his Brazil debut in a World Cup qualifier in Colombia. Only Pele and two stars of the Sixties, Edu and Coutinho, were younger.
‘It has always been an ultimate dream to wear the Brazil jersey,’ Endrick tells Mail Sport. ‘Things have happened very quickly in my life, and this is another dream come true. I can only thank my family, agents, and Palmeiras, who have always believed in me.’
The Brazil box is about to be ticked and he will achieve his other big target too despite his tender years. ‘My dream, since I was little, has always been to play for Real Madrid,’ he adds. ‘Cristiano Ronaldo is one of my biggest idols. So it is a great pride to know that I will wear the same shirt he wore.’
Brazilian sensation Endrick (above) helped Palmeiras win the Brazilian title last season
The 17-year-old is poised to make his debut in the famous yellow jersey on Thursday
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Endrick is already signed to Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports agency, and will leave his Nike deal to become the face of New Balance before he moves to Madrid.
His entourage already numbers more than a dozen, from chefs to physiotherapists, tactical analysts and marketing professionals, all precision engineering this precious talent.
‘Endrick is not just an athlete who executes a move perfectly, but an athlete who executes unexpected moves at different moments of the game,’ says his Roc Nation manager Thiago Freitas. ‘It is difficult to prepare to face him because it is difficult to know what you will face. In several of his goals, he starts explosively, taking on defenders at high speed, and just when you think he will finish with the same force, he finishes as if he were playing with his younger brother, waiting for the opposing goalkeeper to fall. He has two hearts, each beating at a completely different rhythm.’
In his own words, Endrick is a little more subtle. Mail Sport asks him to walk through the game that sealed his call-up to the national team — a 4-3 win for Palmeiras over closest title rivals Botafogo a fortnight ago.
Trailing 3-0 away from home at half-time, Endrick took over in the second half, scoring twice and setting up the equaliser before Palmeiras won the game in the 99th minute. He demonstrated all of the qualities that set Real’s eyes on him: dribbling, explosive pace and a rocket shot with either his stronger left foot or his right.
‘There are only fractions of seconds to define the play,’ says Endrick. ‘I did what was necessary at the time. It’s something I’ve been doing since my journey through the youth teams, which is to be happy and play football.
‘It’s about enjoying going forward, dribbling, shooting at goal, and doing whatever it takes for the team to win.’
It has not all been plain sailing. Endrick’s 2023 began slowly, when he lost his starting place in mid-season. Now, he is front and centre again as Palmeiras’s top scorer in the league with nine as they look to retain the title.
‘At no point did I hang my head because I wasn’t playing,’ he says. ‘It was a period of professional growth. (Palmeiras boss) Abel Ferreira always talked to me, so I was more at ease, respected his decision, and kept working. Now the opportunity has come to show what I can do on the pitch, and I am very grateful for everything that is happening. It’s a moment to enjoy and be happy.’
His success is not down to chance. He has talent, of course, but a fierce determination too.
The 17-year-old is already signed to Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports agency
Endrick had played just seven times for Palmeiras before Real Madrid agreed a £52.5m deal
A new magician is ready for global stardom and follow in footsteps of of Pele and Ronaldo
‘The first two times I met Endrick were just before his 14th birthday,’ says Freitas. ‘What impressed me the most was that he was fully aware of his potential — and the difference between potential and achievement.
‘Young footballers, especially in Brazil, are bombarded with attention and most of them believe that their potential is a divine guarantee, that they will naturally excel simply by waiting for time to pass. Endrick was different. His talent was amplified by himself, not by us.
‘Success only comes when the athlete is willing to sacrifice. Sacrificing leisure time, sacrificing food and sacrificing comfort — to constantly demand more from his body and get used to the pain that this demand brings.’
So far that sacrifice seems to be paying off.
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