Sergio Moraleda


This season, he racked up 21 goals and eight assists for Athletico Paranaense


Teenage forward Vitor Roque this month completed a €40 million ($44 million) move to Barcelona from Brazilian club Athletico Paranaense.

The 18-year-old, who joined  Athletico from Cruzeiro in April 2022, arrives in Spain tasked with leading  the Barça forward line of the future.

He made his first-team debut for Cruzeiro at 16, in a Brazilian second division game against Botafogo - but was substituted after 18 minutes.

Cruzeiro’s then-head coach, Vanderlei Luxemburgo, said he felt he couldn’t hack the pace of the game. It was an inauspicious start for the youngster.

Six months later, Vitor Roque was  sold to Paranaense, who offered  him a salary 15 times higher than  his weekly wage at Cruzeiro.

The Curitiba side triggered the $5.5m release clause in the forward’s contract - a buy-out figure that was set at a whopping $330m for European clubs.

At Paranaense, he blossomed. Blessed with searing pace and a knack for beating players, he's averaged a goal or an assist every 108 minutes this term.

Known as ‘Tigrinho’ - ‘Little  Tiger’ - Vitor Roque is every inch  the modern forward, allying his skill on the ball with a potent physique.

With the ball glued to his feet when  he dribbles, he draws defenders to  him, creating space for others.  He loves to drop deep to receive it. 

A player who links up deftly with  his team-mates, he also works hard  out of possession. He's normally a No. 9, but can operate on the left, too.