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REAL MADRID

What’s happened with Real Madrid’s new signing Endrick?

Since he signed with the Spanish giants, the club he’ll join in July, the young Brazilian hope has gone through a rather challenging time.

Since he signed with the Spanish giants, the club he’ll join in July, the young Brazilian hope has gone through a rather challenging time.
NELSON ALMEIDAAFP

On 15 December 2022 the signing of Endrick Felipe Moreira de Sousa to Real Madrid was made official. It was a deal worth €35 million (c.$38m) plus another 25 million tied to a series of variables, an expected total of €60 million (c.$65m) for one of the most promising prospects in world football. The Brazilian, just 16 years old, would remain in his homeland and continue to play for Palmeiras until the end of the season, joining the LaLiga champions in July 2023.

Since then, however, Endrick’s sights appear to have been misaligned. We’ve watched as 12 consecutive games have passed, the first 12 of the season, in which the man from Brasilia has failed to score. An assist in the 2-0 victory for Palmeiras over Internacional is the contribution of the striker in 729 minutes...

Real Madrid’s Endrick losing his place

Endrick’s commitment to his growth is clear. He was asked about his exclusion from the South American Under-20 Championship, which Brazil won, so that he could get to grips with the mechanisms of a first team, which he had already had a taste of last year (scoring three goals in 306 minutes shared across seven games). Abel Ferreira and his coaching staff prepared a detailed growth plan, controlling Endrick’s fitness and progression to the millimeter. As we previously explained at AS, treating the Brazilian diamond with care is key.

Thus Endrick’s season began, in a favorable manner and with a starting role. The flash moments appeared, the minutes accumulated, but the goals, despite logging up good performances, did not come. And this has resulted in him losing importance in the team, remaining on the bench in the last two games: the victories in the quarterfinals over São Bernardo and in the semifinal against Ituano. Two games in which, despite not playing, he has shown his total commitment to the team, jumping to celebrate with his teammate Murilo for the goal against Ituano which meant qualifying for the final.

Endrick dealing with the pressure

During this streak, on 23 February an image of him went viral. When Ferreira substituted him on 56 minutes against Bragantino, Endrick collapsed. The bib covered his tears on the bench.

He covered his face because he was crying. I only criticize myself for not giving him a hug, because he needed it. He’s going to score, he’s going to miss... he’s only 16 years old”, explained Ferreira.

You must be calm, no matter how strong you are mentally, like Márquez, Federer or whoever, nobody likes criticism. I just tell him to continue training as he is doing because he will have a fantastic career,” the coach added, analyzing the critical charges surrounding his pupil’s performances.

Until now, goals had been the best medicine to combat pressure, a balm that now turns its back on him.

Endrick celebrates with Murilo the goal that gave Palmeiras qualification to the Paulistao final.
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Endrick celebrates with Murilo the goal that gave Palmeiras qualification to the Paulistao final.Ricardo MoreiraGetty

At Palmeiras, confidence in Endrick has not been shaken. At Real Madrid the alarms don’t sound either, although a situation like this was not expected in their planning. But nobody who matters is losing sight of the fact that Endrick is only 16 and is a boy who has become a global star at incredible speed. It’s a very heavy burden that has to be managed.

For this reason, the dynamic with which the season started has not changed. In addition, those who know him best are clear that if something characterizes the footballer it is his mental maturity, well beyond his age. Sometimes you have to take a step back to take two forward.