Frederico Pena: Endrick is better than Vinicius Jr.


Endrick, who is headed to Real Madrid, has been naturally compared to the current sensation Vinicius Junior, but according to their respective agents, the younger Brazilian talent has greater upside.

Although he won’t be allowed to formally join Real Madrid until 2024 when he becomes 18, the 16-year-old has attained stratospheric notoriety in Sao Paulo while playing for Palmeiras, leading Florentino Perez to name him his latest Galactico in December 2022.

Endrick has been creating quite a stir at the Palestra Italia Arena since he starred in Sao Paulo’s renowned Copinha, where he was named the “Player of the Tournament.” A precocious goal scorer with a poacher’s instinct in the box and a physical robustness that belies his still tender years, Endrick has been causing quite the commotion there.

The youth competition is highly regarded in Brazil’s footballing capital and has featured some of the best players the city has ever produced. Many of these players have gone on to thrive on this side of the Atlantic. Endrick is the most recent in a long line of rising stars to shine at the competition and catch Europe’s eye.

The 16-year-old, who debuted for Palmeiras in October 2022 as the team’s youngest-ever player, has since made 19 appearances for the main team. Vinicius Jr., who has since gone on to become a worldwide sensation, followed a similar path during his formative years at Flamengo.

Following Vinicius’ performances for the Rio de Janeiro club, Real paid about £40 million for him in 2017 (officially signing him in 2018). Now, Perez has broken the bank once more to fend off competition for Brazil’s newest gem, spending more than £60 million for the 16-year-old from Palmeiras.

Endrick’s agent, Frederico Pena, thinks it was money well spent because he thinks the adolescent has more promise than his other client, Vinicius Jr.

Pena told FourFourTwo:

“The main difference between them is that Vini has always been the best in his class, year after year, whereas Endrick has always been ahead of his class, playing with much older players, due to his physical maturity.”

Perez has been relentless in his search for Brazil’s next generational superstar ever since Barcelona beat Real Madrid to the signing of Neymar in 2013. This obsession has resulted in the transfer of four teenagers from South America, including Endrick.

As was mentioned, it began with Vinicius from Flamengo. Then, in 2019, it was Reinier and Rodrygo from Santos. We’ll see if Endrick can emulate Vinicius in 2024 and propel the team to even greater heights.

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