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'Ronaldo is my idol' - €45m wonderkid Endrick on Man Utd 'phenomenon', Real Madrid interest and Mbappe

14:39 GMT 01/02/2022
Cristiano Ronaldo Man Utd 2021-22
The Brazilian forward is currently learning his trade at Palmeiras, but has ambitions to "follow in the footsteps" of a five-time Ballon d'Or winner

Endrick has admitted that Cristiano Ronaldo is his idol, with a €45 million (£38m/$51m)-rated wonderkid describing the Manchester United striker as a "phenomenon", while also addressing Real Madrid's reported interest in him and how he compares with Kylian Mbappe.

Endrick is currently making a name for himself in his native Brazil with Palmeiras, having initially joined their youth ranks back in 2016.

The 15-year-old has shot to new levels of fame after firing the Sao Paulo-based club to glory at the prestigious U20s Copinha tournament last month, with Madrid now reportedly leading the race to bring him to Europe.

What's been said?

Barcelona, Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City have also been linked with Endrick, whose market value has already risen to a reported €45m despite the fact he has yet to sign his first professional contract.

The teenager will be able to pen senior terms with any potential suitors when he turns 16 in July, and although he has yet to decide where his future lies, he has made it clear whose career trajectory he would most like to emulate.

Asked to name his main role model in the game, Endrick told Marca: "Cristiano Ronaldo, a spectacular man, a phenomenon. I have to follow in his footsteps."

Ronaldo won multiple La Liga and Champions League titles at Madrid between 2009 and 2018, while also becoming their all-time top scorer with 450 goals in 438 games across all competitions.

Endrick has hinted that he would relish the chance to try and make a similar impact at Santiago Bernabeu, having been flattered by the Blancos' interest in his ability.

"It is a club that I have great affection for and for Cristiano Ronaldo, whom I always followed, with the four Champions Leagues he won there," he added. "I have a great affection for Real due to Cristiano, although I have also looked for things in their history and they are a very good team. 

"It is very gratifying for me to know that they are watching me and witnessing my games, I thank God very much. I have to do more, it's still not good, I have to give more. I still have a way to go."

Endrick on Mbappe

Despite Endrick's admiration for Ronaldo, the Brazilian feels he has more in common with Paris Saint-Germain talisman Mbappe in terms of his style of play.

Endrick, who has scored a staggering 157 goals in 160 youth outings for Palmeiras to date, has also talked up his winning mentality and relentless desire to improve.

"I like and I identify with Mbappe, for being young and because I have his characteristics," he said.

"I am a player with character, who always tries to do the most difficult thing. I try to decide games, play a lot as a team, which is the most important thing. I never stop, I always want more. 

"If I make a goal, I want two; if I make two, I want three. I would tell people who don't know me that I am very persistent."

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