Brazilian starlet Endrick Felipe has signed a deal to take him to Real Madrid in 2024, but with several clubs willing to pay towards €60m for a 16-year-old, he had his pick of Europe’s elite clubs.
Barcelona were interested in Endrick early on, but quickly dropped out as the race heated up, as it became clear they were not keen on meeting Endrick’s asking price.
Alternatively, Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea were also offering him a home for his move to Europe, with PSG Sporting Advisor Luis Campos travelling to Brazil in order to try and work out a deal.
However it was Juni Calafat, the Real Madrid head of recruitment who came away with a deal. Speaking to Marca, Endrick revealed which factors had shaped his decision to sign for Los Blancos.
“Real Madrid are a very big team, and Vini [Vinicius Junior] had sent me messages and gave me more hope. Cristiano too, who is my idol, played for Real Madrid. That’s why I chose Real Madrid and I think it’s the right choice. God has always been with me and he has told me that it is the best path.”
He went on to explain that his friendship with Vinicius Junior wa long-running thing.
“[He has given me] Various pieces of advice. I couldn’t even talk about them here because there have been a lot of tips, I would be here telling them for a long time, I’ll keep them to myself. But he has not given me advice just now but for my whole life. He is my friend and I think this friendship will last for many years. I hope I can exchange a lot of passes with him and score goals.”
The fact Los Blancos not only have several Brazilian stars, but have established a pathway between Brazil and Madrid serves them well in the market. Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius’ success is a vital piece of evidence Calafat and others can point to and promise that they have the tools to get the best out of young stars.