Joao Paulo Sampaio, director of youth teams at Palmeiras, shared his opinion on the goal of Manchester United’s Enrique and compared his potential with that of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Sampaio gave an extensive interview to the Spanish edition of AS amid the circulating rumors about the incredible Brazilian talent.
He claims that he “went crazy” when he first saw the game of 10-year-old Endrik, and praised the versatile game of the striker even at an early age.
“The way he acts on the field at this age, his courage, his power in hitting, his speed, his desire to score goals… We had to sign it at all costs, and we did it. He arrived in the under-11 category and made an impression from the very beginning.”
This impression was left by Endrik that Palmeiras moved his family and got his father a job — a rare practice in Brazilian football.
And the young man proved Sampaio right when he climbed the ladder of the youth team, in no small part thanks to his impeccable behavior.
This attitude is inspired by Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo, an idol of Endrick as a child.
“I don’t see a ceiling for him,” Sampaio said of Endrick’s potential. “As far as it is offered. He has quality, a strong personality and a champion mentality.
“He’s like Cristiano in that. He trains hard, is kind and modest. We love him very much because he loves himself. He tries to please everyone around him.”
While Ronaldo is hardly winning any popularity contests at Old Trafford right now, the status he has been able to develop over 20 successful years in top-level football makes Sampaio’s comparison really high praise.
And it doesn’t stop there, as Sampaio compares Endric to a couple of great Brazilians of all time:
“He looks like Romario and a bit like Ronaldo. He is left-handed, with great technique, strength and privileged genetics. Physically, he is a miracle with a very strong start and running speed, reaching 36.5 km/h at his age.
“Few players reach such a top speed. He’s very explosive. Besides, he was always worried about watching videos with important players to get better.”
With a release clause of around £52 million in his contract, Manchester United will have to pay a large sum if they want to give Endrik a chance to follow in his idol’s footsteps.
There is also the issue of competition from Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea, but Sampaio does see the Red Devils as part of the conversation.
“What I want is to see him happy. He is a player of any great: Real Madrid, Barca, PSG, Chelsea, United.