Endrick’s carefully crafted journey from Palmeiras prodigy to Real Madrid transfer

Endrick was the subject of transfer interest from Man Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool, PSG and Barcelona before agreeing a big-money move to Real Madrid in 2024.

The whole world knows all about Endrick, the Brazilian wonderkid who is set to join Real Madrid in a deal topping £60million.

But Palmeiras always knew the hype around the 16-year-old, dubbed by many as the ‘next Ronaldo’, was coming.

The journey began when Endrick’s father posted videos of his goals on YouTube, attracting interest from a number of top clubs. It was Palmeiras who signed him at the age of 11, winning a transfer battle with Sao Paulo and giving his father Douglas Sousa a job as a cleaner.

Palmeiras immediately knew they had hit the jackpot. In five years, he scored 165 goals in 169 games at youth level and was quickly identified as a future superstar.

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Despite his incredible talent on the court, it was Endrick’s attitude and application that caught the eye early on. Sources at Palmeiras describe a kid who has always trained exactly as he plays and has a steely determination to win.

When he progressed to Palmeiras’ U20 team, he approached the club and asked if he could return to his own age group, the U17s, for the Brazilian Cup. Although his talents led him to bigger and better things, he was desperate to win titles and leave a legacy, regardless of the team’s level.

Last year’s Copinha, an annual youth tournament in Sao Paulo, was Endrick’s arrival party. She excelled on the national stage and quickly rose to the limelight.

A flurry of goals for Brazil’s U17s has boosted their reputation and raised the stakes at Palmeiras. All of a sudden, the clamor for his signature has accelerated, as has his exposure to first-team football as his 16th birthday approaches.

Abel Ferreira and his coaching staff at Palmeiras are determined to handle the situation carefully and ensure that he makes his debut in a favorable situation. Ferreira also made sure to have a number of one-on-one conversations with Endrick about his development, having introduced him to first-team training before he was old enough to make his debut.

Sources say the conversations were two-way, with Ferreira not only wanting to make sure Endrick was comfortable, but also understanding the player’s goals himself. He calmed Endrick under pressure to score his first goal and reiterated that helping the team is the most important thing.

The Palmeiras staff also made a concerted effort to make Endrick realize that despite the hype surrounding him and his young age, he is part of the team. He has always respected this fact and, despite his special circumstances, has fitted in well in the dressing room around the older players.

Publicly, Ferreira remains keen to defend Endrick, pointing to his age amid the high pressure. When his Copinha breakthrough sparked speculation he could go to the Club World Cup, the Palmeiras boss joked: “If the club is thinking of buying him and his family tickets to Disneyland… He needs this. He’s 15, still a boy. I like to take my time for these players.”

This approach was confirmed by Endrick himself, who gladly accepted that his development could not be rushed. He trusted the process that Ferreira et al.

“I will believe in Abel, in everything he says.” – He told. “He wants the best for me, I will continue to train and give myself hard to win his heart, teammates, fans and the whole staff.”

When Endrick was introduced to the first team, there was no special treatment and no age limit. The intensity and the demands placed on him were the same as the other players and when he made a mistake it was not covered up. At times he had to strive to improve and adapt to the standards set by the older players.

In one of his first training sessions with the Palmeiras first team, he lost the ball several times and was pulled up by his teammates. They accompanied their words with advice and helped him improve aspects of his game.

Physically, Endrick impressed the staff at Palmeiras and adapted well to senior football. He had no problem with the training load and his athleticism allowed him to successfully take on senior defenders.

As expected, his finishing and shooting were outstanding. At first, he caught the attention of the stars in the first team during shooting practice, who quickly recognized his quality and welcomed him into the team with open arms.

He has scored three goals in seven top-flight appearances so far this season and the future looks bright with Abel Ferreira’s inclusion in Palmeiras’ first teaaaaaaaaaaam. Although an agreement has been reached for him to join Real Madrid, he will not travel to Spain until 2024, when he turns 18.

But there is a sense that Endrick is in the right place to continue to develop at the right pace. Now the focus is even more on Brazil’s next big thing, but with the transfer saga that dominated his final year now over, he can fully focus on making incremental steps to fulfill his star potential.

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