SAO PAULO: Brazilian teenager Endrick says it’s a “dream come true” to join Real Madrid, even if he has to wait a bit.
The 16-year-old sensation for Brazilian club Palmeiras will move to Spain when he turns 18 — in July 2024.
The two clubs confirmed the agreement Thursday in separate statements about the most highly anticipated transfer from Brazil to Spain since Neymar’s move to Barcelona in 2013.
Financial details were not immediately released, but Brazilian media said the deal was worth nearly €60 million ($64 million).
Endrick played Brazilian championship matches this year in Palmeiras’ title-winning campaign and scored his first three professional goals. The teenager will continue playing for Palmeiras until his move to Madrid.
The striker was a target of several other top European clubs, which reportedly included Manchester City, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain.
Endrick thanked Palmeiras “for offering me all that I needed to become what I am today, helping me make my dream come true.”
“Until I go to Real Madrid I will keep working as I always worked to be able to give Palmeiras even more on the pitch: More goals, more victories, more titles, and even more joy to our fans,” Endrick said in the Palmeiras statement.
The agreement is similar to those Madrid reached with Flamengo for Vinicius Junior and Santos for Rodrygo. Madrid paid the Brazilian teams some €45 million for each.
Leila Pereira, the chairwoman of Palmeiras, said the transfer amount was confidential.
“Real Madrid’s offer is compatible with Endrick’s enormous talent and it adds up to the sporting and financial goals we set since the beginning of the conversations,” Pereira said.
Endrick has been compared to other soccer greats like Adriano and Ronaldo. He has impressed scouts from an even younger age due to his powerful shots, speed and sharp finishing.
Ronaldo said in a recent interview that he wanted Brazil to take Endrick to the World Cup in Qatar. Many former footballers in the South American nation say the teenage sensation is a sure squad member for the team’s campaign in the next World Cup in 2026.