The director of Palmeiras’ youth setup has compared in-demand striker Endrick to Brazilian legends Romario and Ronaldo, backing the teenager to become one of the world’s best players.
Real Madrid, Chelsea and PSG are all chasing the 16-year-old, who 90min understands is expected to have made a decision on which club to join by the end of the calendar year after touring Europe to visit his suitors.
Speaking to AS, academy director Joao Paulo Sampaio stopped short of naming which side he believes Endrick will join but stressed that the teenager will go on to become a superstar wherever he ends up.
“If injuries respect him, I don’t see a ceiling for him,” Sampaio said. “As far as is humanly possible.
“He has quality, a strong personality and a champion mentality. In that regard, he resembles Cristiano [Ronaldo]. He trains hard, is kind and has humility. We love him very much because he makes himself loved. He tries to please everyone around him.
“He has everything to be a world star in the future.”
With Palmeiras expected to hold out for Endrick’s €60m release clause to be triggered, Sampaio insisted clubs should have no concerns about spending such a sum on the teenage striker.
“I am convinced that Endrick, if he does not have injury problems, will not disappoint anyone,” he said.
“What I want is to see him happy. He’s a player for any great team, for Real Madrid, Barcelona, PSG, Chelsea, Manchester United – he’s different. He is a born goalscorer and can be a world star. He has the technique, physique and mentality to go a long way. Wherever he goes, I wish him, above all, much happiness.”
Finally, Sampaio admitted that Cristiano Ronaldo is Endrick’s favourite footballer but insisted he is more reminiscent of his Brazilian namesake.
“I understand that Cristiano Ronaldo is his favourite footballer but he has never said so clearly to me,” he said.
“He looks like Romario and a bit like Ronaldo too. He is left-footed, with a lot of technique, power and privileged genetics. Physically, he is a marvel with a very strong acceleration and running speed that reaches 36.5 km/h at his age. Few players reach that top speed. He is very explosive.
“In addition, he has always worried about watching videos of important players to improve.”