Endrick has been earmarked for greatness since he was a boy and Europe’s first glimpse of Brazil's latest prodigy saw him deliver on the hype with goals against England and Spain.

Real Madrid’s decision to pay Palmeiras nearly £60m for him at just 16 in 2022 gave us an idea of his potential. The March internationals showed us.

Endrick was no longer just a name, he was a reality. He wears the weight of expectation comfortably and the early signs indicate that this is someone born for the big stage.

The transfer to Real Madrid will be official in July, when he turns 18. Those that know Endrick have little concern about how he will cope.

Here, they tell Sky Sports the story of his journey from Brasilia to the Bernabeu. Endrick Felipe Moreira de Sousa is Next Up.

"He is extraordinary"

Tim Vickery, South American football expert

"Sometimes it’s hard to believe what he is achieving and showing so early"

Mario Cortegana, Real Madrid correspondent at The Athletic

"I believe Endrick will have success very quickly at Real Madrid"

Paulo Victor Gomes, Endrick's youth coach at Palmeiras

‘We weren’t born into wealth. We were born into football’

Destiny springs to mind when hearing Endrick’s story.

Before he had joined Palmeiras, he sat down with his father, Douglas, and promised to give their family a better life by becoming a professional footballer. He was 10 at the time.

Endrick with his family after Palmeiras beat Santos in the Sao Paolo State Championship (Fabio Menotti/Palmeiras)

Endrick with his family after Palmeiras beat Santos in the Sao Paolo State Championship (Fabio Menotti/Palmeiras)

Football was in Endrick's blood; his father and grandfather shared his dream, but were unable to make it a reality.

Douglas had even slept under Palmeiras’ ticket booth when hitch-hiking across Brazil for a week in the hope of finding a club.

Those struggles didn’t dampen his desire to help his son.

"He would send around YouTube clips of Endrick to clubs, looking for someone to pick him up and Palmeiras bit," South American football expert Tim Vickery tells Sky Sports.

They had very little, but Endrick looks back fondly on his childhood. "In our family, we weren’t born into wealth," Endrick wrote in The Players’ Tribune. "We were born into football."

(Picture courtesy of Fabio Menotti/Palmeiras)

(Picture courtesy of Fabio Menotti/Palmeiras)

Endrick's family relocated to Sao Paolo after he joined Palmeiras. His father took up a job as a caretaker, placing him in the dressing room he had fantasised about.

He was sure to tell the squad they would soon be playing with his son.

(Picture courtesy of Fabio Menotti/Palmeiras)

(Picture courtesy of Fabio Menotti/Palmeiras)

"Douglas did everything he could so that Endrick could fulfil his dream," says Paulo Victor Gomes, a youth coach of Endrick’s at Palmeiras. "It’s a victory not only for the boy but the entire family. For their sacrifice and all that they did."

Endrick delivered on the promise he had made to his father by signing his first professional contract aged 15. Douglas kept his word, too: Endrick had arrived.

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Endrick scores his first Brazil goal at Wembley on March 23 against England in an international friendly

Endrick scores his first Brazil goal at Wembley on March 23 against England in an international friendly

He came off the bench to win the game 1-0

He came off the bench to win the game 1-0

His goal in the 80th minute, nine minutes after coming on, was the difference

His goal in the 80th minute, nine minutes after coming on, was the difference

He became the youngest player to score for Brazil since Ronaldo Nazario in 1994

He became the youngest player to score for Brazil since Ronaldo Nazario in 1994

He is Brazil's fourth-youngest goalscorer of all time

He is Brazil's fourth-youngest goalscorer of all time

Endrick is also now the youngest male player to score a senior goal at Wembley

Endrick is also now the youngest male player to score a senior goal at Wembley

'Everyone present realised we had a gem'

Gomes first encountered Endrick as a 10-year-old when he was coaching Palmeiras’ U15s. They would not work together until later, but Endrick made an immediate impression. "I observed a very different player since his first steps inside the club," he says.

"It wasn’t only in the physical aspect, like everyone always talks about, but in the technical aspects, his decision-making, how much he involved himself in the games and how much this boy was concentrating during training."

(Pictures courtesy of Fabio Menotti/Palmeiras)

(Pictures courtesy of Fabio Menotti/Palmeiras)

Endrick established himself as a player for the big moments early in his development. Gomes recalls the final of the U11s Sao Paolo State Championship in 2017 as the occasion Endrick announced himself at Palmeiras.

"He always demonstrated himself to be an exceptional boy," says Gomes. "But for me this was the moment." It was the first time Endrick had played at Allianz Parque, Palmeiras’ stadium. "What he did in that game was something really outstanding."

Endrick won the game against Santos with the only goal, a tap-in on the rebound. Time has taught us this was no accident. Endrick tends to be in the right place at the right time.

"The main difference between Endrick and other players is his connection with the goal," says Gomes. "He's very dangerous in the area. That's his distinctive characteristic."

(Picture courtesy of Fabio Menotti/Palmeiras)

(Picture courtesy of Fabio Menotti/Palmeiras)

Endrick's goal was not the only thing that stood out. "He took control of the game in a way that was so natural, leading in a moment of huge pressure for boys of 10 and 11 years of age. It wasn’t just me, everyone present realised we had a gem."

Word of Endrick’s talent would soon spread beyond Palmeiras.

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He is the youngest goalscorer in Palmeiras' history

He is the youngest goalscorer in Palmeiras' history

At youth level, he scored 161 goals in 188 games

At youth level, he scored 161 goals in 188 games

(Pictures courtesy of Fabio Menotti/Palmeiras)

(Pictures courtesy of Fabio Menotti/Palmeiras)

'Everyone wanted him'

Cophinha is one of the most famous U20 tournaments in the world. Neymar, Vincius Junior and Alisson are among those to have gained notoriety on this stage.

Scouts from around the globe flock to Sao Paolo every January, hoping to discover Brazil’s next superstar.

(Picture courtesy of Fabio Menotti/Palmeiras)

(Picture courtesy of Fabio Menotti/Palmeiras)

Endrick made sure they knew who he was in 2022 aged just 15. "He was giving five years away to his opponents, and was just doing incredible things," says Vickery. "This was the first time we really saw him."

Palmeiras won Copinha for the first time that year, coached by Gomes. Endrick was the star, scoring six goals across seven games to claim the tournament's MVP award.

Endrick also won goal of the tournament for a bicycle kick he scored outside the box in the quarter-final. "It just couldn’t be done and he did it," chuckles Vickery. "The talent is breathtaking. He is extraordinary."

It wasn't the first time Endrick had gone viral for a wondergoal.

A year earlier, he scored from inside his own half in the Sao Paolo State Championship U17 final as Palmeiras triumphed over Corinthians. Parallels were quickly drawn with Pele’s near miss against Czechoslovakia at the 1970 World Cup.

Such comparisons are unavoidable for Endrick being a striker from Brazil. Many have crumbled under this pressure. "Mentally, he's very strong," says Gomes. "You could see it since he was U11. He constructs this everyday."

The reports on Endrick after Copinha were unanimous. This was the player to watch. "All my contacts in Brazil had already assured me that he was someone different," Mario Cortegana, a Real Madrid correspondent for The Athletic, tells Sky Sports.

"It's not so usual that this happens with football people in Brazil. I was told very early that he would arrive in Europe more prepared than Vinicius or Rodrygo, among others. I followed him closely and came away thinking the same."

"Everyone wanted Endrick," adds Vickery.

(Picture courtesy of Fabio Menotti/Palmeiras)

(Picture courtesy of Fabio Menotti/Palmeiras)

Chelsea and Manchester City were thought to be the Premier League clubs in the strongest position to sign him. Had things panned out differently, perhaps England would be readying itself for the arrival of the Brazilian this summer.  

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