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Endrick of Palmeiras during the match against Fluminense, in the 37th round of the Brazilian Championship, at Allianz Parque, west of São Paulo, this Sunday, November 3, 2023.

Endrick is busy sitting down seniors & Fortnite dancing on their graves

There is no greater feeling than watching a young player at their lethal, fearless best in their final months before the inevitable big move and the suddenly lofty expectations.

At the moment, watching near enough weekly highlights of Endrick tear-arsing his way around pitches up and down Brazil’s top-flight feels a bit like watching your favourite indie band.

You love them to bits and you want the best for them, but you don’t want the whole world to see them and take away that special connection you’ve established with them, only for them to be chewed up and spat back out.

Nobody will be chewing up and spitting out Endrick, though. He’s already doing that with defenders who have years of experience on him.

Crucially, he’s doing it at just 17 without even having to break a sweat or focus too much on the task at hand.

The mind of a teenager is simple, and he’s proving it week by week at Palmeiras right now while we await his move to Madrid next summer.

It’s a simple formula. Put on boots, run players ragged and give them PTSD, play Fortnite. And repeat.

We could’ve made a monumental effort for our weekends to resemble Endrick’s at his age, knocking the Strongbow Dark Fruits and cheap vodka on the head from the off, but the truth is that it all would’ve been wasted time.

The kid is an absolute freak and nobody is coming near him at his age right now, no matter how hard they try.

If his bludgeoning run to the penalty box didn’t prove it, his mid-game flossing certainly did.

We need to talk about that run, though, because it’s genuinely mindblowing stuff for a player his age to be able to move like he does.

Taking the ball from a throw-in with his back to goal, Endrick has a long way to take play to make something happen and must find a way past an incredibly unforgiving David Braz – age 36 – to do so.

What happens next is a spectacle. A moment of pure brilliance that makes you go back and watch the clip over and over to try and figure out exactly how on earth this teenager has just bulldozed his way through someone twice his age.

It’s like he’s not even trying. Wriggles through him like he’s made out of liquid, but does so by going shoulder to shoulder with a veteran defender and shoving him into oblivion before bursting forward with frightening control.

Once he’s past his marker, it’s a formality for Endrick, who already possesses the vision and technical ability to churn out chances like a man possessed for his peers. It’s joyous.

The most beautiful part about it all, however, is just how naturally it appears to be coming to him right now.

This is a kid who knows he is brilliant and is enjoying every minute of it, without letting an ounce of expectation weigh on him.

Pressure doesn’t exist right now – and his nonchalant Fortnite dancing mid-game is a testament to his excellent youthful exuberance.

Your dad is already seething. Can’t be having that on a Champions League night. This new generation of kids scuffing up our beautiful game with their video game behaviour instead of setting a good example by partying non-stop. How dare he?

It’s that rather hilarious Fortnite dance that sums up the beauty of Endrick right now, and where he’s at in his career.

An unbothered king and we love it. You’ve got to be one hell of a prospect to pull that off, but thankfully Endrick is exactly that.

The last dance before he rides off into the Spanish sun, ready to heat the cauldron that is the Santiago Bernabeu with a feeling that Madridistas have been starved of since R9.

There’s going to be serious heat in the kitchen when Endrick heads to Real Madrid, but he’s just proven he can shrug it off and dance his way through.

By Mitch Wilks


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