Brazilian wonderkid Endrick became Palmeiras’ youngest player ever on Thursday evening as he made his long-awaited senior debut, with representatives from Real Madrid in attendance to take in his performance.
Endrick, widely considered the best player of his age in the world, came on for the last 20 minutes of the 4-0 win over Cortiba – aged 16 years, two months and 16 days.
Fans chanted for Endrick to be brought on, as they have been for much of the last month, but finally coach Abel Ferreira gave them what they wanted.
Endrick impressed and could have scored a couple of goals himself in the win, but he was just happy to finally make his first-team bow.
“This crowd is wonderful, it’s the crowd I have wanted all my life, I’m a Palmeiras fan. They criticize me, but I know it’s for my own good, I was anxious to see this crowd scream my name and it’s very good, I will do everything for them, I know I will have ups and downs,” he told Brazilian TV station Premiere.
90min understands that Real Madrid, who believe they have already persuaded Endrick that his future lies in the Spanish capital, were represented in Sao Paulo to see the teenager’s record-setting evening.
Real held talks about landing Endrick – a player they have been following for a couple of years – but FIFA rules dictate that a player can’t move abroad until they are 18.
After missing out on the signing of Neymar in 2013, Real president Florentino Perez vowed not to let that happen again, and he has since made sure Los Blancos did not miss out on the top Brazilian youngsters with the likes of Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo and Reinier all joining the club – but Endrick is seen as the one he has been waiting for.