Next Up: Endrick is no longer a name, he is a reality

Real Madrid’s plans for their ‘special’ striker

Endrick rocked up for his first game at the Bernabeu aged 17 and delivered with a goal against Spain, mere days after becoming Brazil’s youngest scorer since Ronaldo against England at Wembley.

Cortegana, a Real Madrid correspondent for The Athletic, was there. “When he scored the goal, the noise was not exactly like that of a Spanish goal, but it was similar.”

Real fans were already hotly anticipating the visit of Endrick, but his winner against England only added to the fanfare. “When his name was announced, the Spain fans, many of them Madrid fans too, applauded and shouted.”

Endrick was made to feel welcome in his new home and gifted the fans with a sweetly struck volley in return. It was the perfect introduction. He seems to have that very Real-like tendency of turning up in the big moments.

The teenager, already a back-to-back league winner with Palmeiras in Brazil’s Serie A, tends to agree. “I’m a player who shows up at times when it’s difficult,” he said last year.

Endrick had just inspired Palmeiras to a stunning 4-3 comeback win at the then league leaders Botafogo. He scored their first two goals and his cross led to the third as they rallied from 3-0 down.

“It was his game,” says Vickery. “The cameras showed him telling his team-mates ‘give me the ball, give me the ball’. He’s 17 and wants that responsibility.”

Palmeiras went on to win the league as Botafogo threw away a 13-point lead.

Endrick inspires comeback against Botafogo (Picture courtesy of Palmeiras)

Endrick inspires comeback against Botafogo (Picture courtesy of Palmeiras)

(Picture courtesy of Palmeiras)

(Picture courtesy of Palmeiras)

(Picture courtesy of Palmeiras)

(Picture courtesy of Palmeiras)

“This was a great example for everyone who is getting to know Endrick,” says Gomes. “Those who know him realise this mentality has been there for a long time.”

For many in Europe, the March internationals served a similar purpose. Endrick looks ready. “Sometimes it’s hard to believe what he is achieving and showing so early,” says Cortegana.

Vincius and Rodrygo spent time with Real Madrid Castilla before integrating with the first-team, but Endrick will be thrown straight in. “That was always the idea,” says Cortegana. “His magnificent evolution has only reinforced the club’s plans.”

Kylian Mbappe’s arrival has been raised as a potential issue, but Vickery sees things differently. “It just takes the pressure off Endrick,” he says. “It sounds like every training session will be a wonderful education for him.”

“Endrick will obviously have a lot of competition in attack,” adds Cortegana. “It’ll be important for him to have the patience Edouardo Camavinga and Federico Valverde had.”

Gomes has little doubt about his adaptation. “I’d treat him like a special player. The special players, they’re ready to be decisive, to be important independent of the context. I believe Endrick will have success very quickly at Real Madrid.”

He adds: “Endrick has what high-level football requires: a strong mentality to get him through all moments, any and every eventuality.”

Endrick is Next Up.


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