THE ORIGIN STORY
How the Real Madrid star-to-be's dad got him his break at Palmeiras
Palmeiras forward Endrick, 17, is one of world soccer’s brightest young stars. He is to join LaLiga giants Real Madrid this summer.
The €72m ($80m) transfer is the second-most expensive ever involving a Brazilian club, behind only Neymar's 2013 switch from Santos to Barça.
Endrick’s is a tale of rags to Real riches. As his family struggled to make ends meet in his early years, he vowed to his father that he’d become a soccer star.
It was Endrick’s dad who was behind his arrival at Palmeiras. Douglas Sousa would film his son playing soccer when he was a kid, and post it on YouTube.
That attracted the attentions of teams such as Santos and Corinthians, but their interest came to nothing and the family finally moved to São Paulo.
Once in São Paulo, Douglas began selling coffee at the Barra Funda bus station, which is close to Palmeiras’ Allianz Parque home stadium.
One day, a club director offered him a job cleaning the team’s locker rooms. With his foot in the door, he made sure to show off videos of his son.
It wasn’t long before Endrick was given a chance in the youth academy - and took it. He scored 161 goals in 188 age-group games for Palmeiras.
When Endrick made his debut for the first team, his father couldn’t contain his emotion. The teenager has now won four trophies in just two years.
Endrick is blessed with an extremely powerful lower body, which gives him a turn of pace that allows him to burst past players with ease.
A good decision-maker, he’s quick to drive forward into space and doesn’t need a second invitation to shoot. He’s reminiscent of Sergio Agüero.