Connect with us


Real Madrid Awaits Endrick, Despite Rollercoaster Season



Fourteen times European kings and LaLiga giants, Real Madrid is planning its playing personnel for the next decade. They are thinking about new signings to further strengthen all the areas of the field. It is said that the midfield is sorted for the next ten years, with the arrival of Jude Bellingham, Arda Guler to join Eduardo Cammavinga, Fede Valverde and Auriel Tuchomieni. The old war horses, Tony Kross and Luka Modric is still revving at a high level and so is Cebellous. With the contingents, that area of the field is truly sorted.

But now, the club is thinking about reinforcing the other positions, particularly the attack and defence.
While the wait for Frenchman Kyllian Mbappe seems endless, a Brazilian pearl, a kid gem has been recruited, and is the on the to join forces with fellow compatriots, Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes next summer.
Felipe Endrick, the teenage sensation of Palmerias is the new target man the team is banking on to form the next attacking trident with Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo. However, this is hypothetical.

The club President, Florentino Perez, despite all the hiccups, seems obsessed with the pursuit of Mbappe. Should Mbappe arrives, where would he plays? And where would Endrick plays? What happens to one of Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo? Agreed, the club is big enough to keep the four superstars in its ranks, but definitely, may not be able to fix them into a line-up.

Although an easy path might have been created by the young in-coming attacker when he claimed that “I am excited playing with Mbappe”. According to him, he would like all the big names to come Real Madrid, since it is the biggest and best club in the World. This means, easily, all four superstars goalscorere can co-habit in the same structure without ego hiccups.

A Spanish journalist, Felix Dias disclosed that since December, 2022, the club signed Endrick, technical members of the club have travelled to Brazil about four times to convey confidence in him, make him feel like a Real Madrid player and show him what Real Madrid is about.

This is because the new marquee teenage signing hasn’t enjoyed the easiest year since agreeing a deal to move to the Santiago Bernabeu in December 2022.

In October 2022, Endrick was the hottest commodity in Brazilian football. The forward, then 16, made his top-flight debut for league winners Palmeiras after years of impressing for the club’s youth sides. Later that month, he bagged a brace against Athletico Paranaense to become the youngest goalscorer in Brazilian Serie A history.
He wasn’t exactly unknown – Real Madrid had been pursuing Endrick for nearly a year – but Endrick seemed to be on the verge of superstardom. Los Blancos, accordingly, pounced as soon as Palmeiras were willing to negotiate, paying the Brazilian club €60 million (£52m/$64m) to secure his services starting in summer 2024 – a record fee for a Serie A side.
But it hasn’t all gone smoothly for the teenager. Endrick, in fact, has looked rather like a young player still growing into the game.

Since he sealed the move to Madrid, Endrick has endured a tricky nine months, experiencing long spells without scoring, clashing with his club, and going viral for the wrong reasons. But there have also been highs: impressive goals, highlight-reel dribbles, and plenty of reasons for excitement.

A young man with a strong mental strength. He blurted out in an interview recently: “I hate going out. I hate going to parties. I hate going to clubs. I just want to play football & be with my family.”
He “just want to play ball”, by the year 2023 has been most tumultuous, playing wise for him.

After much speculation – and lengthy transfer pursuit from a number of Europe’s top clubs – Madrid sealed the signature of Palmeiras’ hottest prospect during the 2022 World Cup. They shelled out €60m (£52m/$64m) for the youngster, coordinating with the same scout who found Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo and Federico Valverde to seal the deal.
It didn’t matter that the teenager had only made his first team debut two months before. Madrid had been working on the transfer for years, and paid a premium to get their man.

Still, the 16-year-old wasn’t guaranteed to be a first team regular. Far from it. Palmeiras had a number of more experienced options who seemed likely to keep Endrick out of the side, stunting his growth before it could properly begin.

But that changed with the sales of Danilo and Gustavo Scarpa to Nottingham Forest in January. Although neither was an out-and-out striker, they shouldered a solid chunk of attacking load. Their departures, then, opened a spot for Endrick to thrive.

But it didn’t go smoothly for the teenager. Endrick’s struggles started almost immediately after he agreed a deal with Madrid, the 16-year-old embarking on a lengthy goalless spell. Most of it seemed to be self-inflicted. Endrick looked like he was trying to do too much for his team.
The numbers were undoubtedly concerning, though. Endrick started eight of 10 games to open the season, failed to register a goal contribution, and missed four big chances. It mattered little that his side were struggling without attacking talent around the youngster; this was a soon-to-be Real Madrid player who simply couldn’t find the back of the net.

And it seemed to catch up with the youngster. Endrick was pictured crying on the bench after his scoreless drought hit double digits, the image of a future Madridista covering his eyes on the sideline going viral.
He was swiftly defended by his manager, Abel Ferreira, who admitted that he should “have given Endrick a hug” following his removal from the contest. The manager also called for patience with his starlet, well aware of the pressures placed on him by the historic transfer fee.

“You have to be calm. Nobody likes criticism. There is tremendous pressure on him to score five or six goals and he tries to deal with it himself. The goal will appear at the right time. You just have to be calm and keep smiling,” he said after Palmeiras’ 2-0 win over RB Bragantino.

Despite his struggles, Endrick’s profile only continued to rise. He had been burdened with Gabriel Jesus comparisons from a young age, given his relatively short stature and powerful frame. Endrick himself admitted that he was neither a pure No.9 nor a No.10, only increasing scrutiny.

Brazilian media didn’t help his case, either. A number of publications, as well as the toxic world of the internet, had readily dubbed Endrick ‘the new Pele’, a notion that he was quick to reject.
“Sometimes I ask myself: Why are there so many stories about me?” Endrick said in an interview with GQ in Brazil. “I didn’t ask for this. There are situations that cross a line. ‘Ah, he’s the new Pele.’ Man, nobody is going to be Pele, he’s the king of football.”

But his performances soon picked up. Endrick’s goal drought extended to 12 games, but April represented something of a turning point. He was slowly phased back into the side by Ferreira, and rewarded the manager’s patience with a series of solid performances to open the campaign. He bagged three in his first four games, and scored the first goal of the Serie A season with a neat finish.

More impressive, though, was the return of his confidence. Of particular note was an impressive run and shimmy through the Agua Santa defence in the Paulista Championship Final – a brief moment that showed, if nothing else, that there was still a great player in there.

Still, there were ongoing issues. Endrick clashed with his own club as they refused to release him for the U20 World Cup despite the striker’s public request to join the Selecao for the tournament in Argentina.
Fellow starlet, and soon-to-be Barcelona player, Vitor Roque was also denied the chance by his club. The duo figured to be crucial to the Brazilian cause in the tournament, just a few months removed from their win of the U20 Copa America. Brazil won their group, but went out in the quarter-final to Israel.
It was perhaps expected that a teenager would undergo cold spells. And it inevitably happened again. After a strong start to the season, the goals dried up. Endrick endured another difficult run over the summer, going scoreless in 12 straight games, failing to find the back of the net for two months after bagging a crucial equaliser against Roque’s Athletico Paranaense in early July.
The manager effectively lost faith in Endrick entirely, keeping him on the bench on five separate occasions over the summer.

Opportunities would soon arrive, though – if only out of necessity. Striker Dudu, who had provided 10 goal contributions for the reigning league champs, sustained a serious knee injury in August.
That left space for Endrick to work his way back into the side – and onto the scoresheet. He was, accordingly, brought off the bench against Corinthians on September 3, and made a solid impact, creating a number of opportunities as his side pushed for a winner.

But it wasn’t his dribbling in the final third or incisive passes that marked his showing. Instead, the game will be remembered for a dangerous challenge that could have seriously impacted his career.
In the 92nd minute, Corinthians defender Maycon de Andrade Barberan went studs up into Endrick’s knee, leaving the teenager screaming in pain. Madrid will undoubtedly be relieved to learn that their top recruit sustained no serious damage. But it could have been the culmination of a tumultuous campaign. (September 2023)

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Barca Still Vulnerable in Europe, Xavi Admits



FC Barcelona might be threading a familiar path in Europe with the latest result where they slumped to a 1-0 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday (07 November).
With this result, they spurned the chance to seal an early qualification to the Round of 16 Champions League knock-out stages.

FC Barcelona have struggled miserably in Europe since they last lifted the trophy in 2015, only reaching the quarter-finals in two occasions.

Danylo Sikan’s dipping header in the 40th minute secured Shakhtar a famous victory as Xavi Hernandez’s flat Spanish champions failed to trouble their Ukrainian opponents.
Barcelona still lead Group H ahead of Porto, second, hosting Royal Antwerp later on, with the Portuguese side able to pull alongside the Catalans on nine points with victory.
“We can see we’re in a bit of a footballing rut, we have to do a reset,” said Barca coach Xavi.
“We played a bad game, we have to admit it.”
Xavi said his team had wasted a good chance to progress.

“After two years without qualifying for the last 16, today is a missed opportunity,” he continued.
“It’s the most inopportune moment. There are a lot of demands (on us), I think that today we couldn’t fail and we failed.”
After failing to progress from the group stage for two seasons running, Barcelona saw this clash as an opportunity to get the job done with two games to spare.
However Shakhtar, playing their home games in Hamburg because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, held their own from the start.

Barcelona missed big chances in the first match in October but this time Marino Pusic’s team shut down their uninspired visitors, who produced just one shot on target.
Xavi insisted his team’s performance in the narrow 1-0 league win over Real Sociedad on Saturday was unacceptable, despite the good result, but his team did not heed the coach’s words.
Shakhtar forced Marc-Andre ter Stegen into the first save of the game, with the German goalkeeper denying Mykola Matviienko at the near post after he got in behind Joao Cancelo.
Ilkay Gundogan and Raphinha lashed over from distance as Barca created no danger, with veteran striker Robert Lewandowski woefully disconnected on his return to Germany.

The former Bayern Munich forward has not scored in any of his last six appearances for Barca, amounting to his worst run of goalscoring form for over a decade.
The hosts took the lead a few minutes before half-time, easily slicing the visitors open when Giorgi Gocholeishvili took advantage of Barcelona left-back Marcos Alonso being a long way out of position.

The full-back crossed for Sikan, who beat Andreas Christensen in the air and headed beyond the reach of Ter Stegen.
Ter Stegen saved from Gocholeishvili early in the second half as Shakhtar continued as they left off.
Just before the hour Xavi took action, sending on speedsters Alejandro Balde and Lamine Yamal, as well as Pedri, looking to shake up his team’s lifeless display.
Barcelona were better but not bright enough, as Shakhtar goalkeeper Dmytro Riznyk enjoyed a quiet night.
“Not so long ago we were playing very good football — it’s a mental issue,” said Xavi.
Shakhtar’s latest young Brazilian winger, Newerton, scored a stunning second in the final stages but it was chalked off for offside — it would have been a superb way to crown a glorious night for Pusic’s team.

Barcelona had seven minutes of added time to work with but could not find a breakthrough, with Felix unsuccessfully appealing for a penalty after he was clipped on the edge of the box.
The Ukrainian champions, third, celebrated joyously at full-time and now sit only three points behind Barcelona, who host Porto in their next Champions League match on November 28.
“We do things step by step and we stay humble,” said Pusic, who was proud of his team’s defensive effort.
“We like to attack and we had several good moments tonight, but game organisation comes first.
“If you concede easily at this level there is not a high chance you will win.”
Barcelona midfielder Oriol Romeu said his team had to look in the mirror after their disappointing display.
“Every defeat is a warning,” he told Movistar.
“We have to be self-critical and see what we did wrong, to correct it quickly.” with reports

Continue Reading


Champions League: Man City, Real Madrid, Bayern qualify for UCL last 16



Expectedly, there were less drama as the record 14-time champions, Real Madrid joined holders Manchester City, last season’s runners-up Inter Milan, Real Sociedad, RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich, to qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League with two group games to spare.

However, Manchester United’s poor form continued as they slipped to a stunning 4-3 defeat against FC Copenhagen, just as FC Barcelona could not wrap up qualification, having to wait till matchday 5, before attempting to scale the hurdle.

Madrid, the record 14-time European champions, made sure of their progress from Group C with a 3-0 home win over Braga after surviving an injury setback just before kick-off.
There were grunting around the Santiago Bernabeu when starting Goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga pulled out hurt in the warm-up, but his replacement Andriy Lunin excelled by saving Alvaro Djalo’s sixth-minute penalty.

With recuperating Starman, Jude Bellingham rested, to properly recover from the shoulder injury he sustained during the LaLiga game against Rayo Vallecano over the weekend, returnee Brahim Diaz gave Real a 27th-minute lead before the fantastic Brazilian duo of Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo both scored in the second half.

Rodrygo thanked Carlo Ancelotti for supporting him through a tough start to the season after scoring in Real Madrid’s 3-0 Champions League win over Sporting Braga on Wednesday.
Rodrygo, who hasn’t found the net in LaLiga since the first weekend of the season, but has now scored in consecutive Champions League games, ran to hug Ancelotti after scoring in the 61st minute at the Santiago Bernabeu.

“I’m very happy, it was a perfect game,” Rodrygo told Movistar. “I’m very happy with the goal and the assist, but also with the win and qualification.
“The hug was to thank Ancelotti. When you aren’t in a good moment, that’s when you see who people really are. I wasn’t in a good moment and he was always there with me. I scored and I had to celebrate it with him.”

Rodrygo has been an important player for Madrid in recent seasons, contributing to their 2022 Champions League and LaLiga double and scoring 18 goals in all competitions last season, but has struggled so far this campaign.

“In my career, there’ve been forwards who’ve scored in every game and others who have moments when it’s hard to score,” Ancelotti said in his postmatch news conference. “All you can do is support them. A player with Rodrygo or Vinícius’s characteristics will score sooner or later. They have extraordinary quality, it’s just a question of time.

“Vinicius and Rodrygo combined spectacularly in the second half. There aren’t many duos who can counter-attack like Rodrygo and Vinicius.”
Ancelotti admitted that playmaker Diaz, who returned to Madrid from AC Milan last summer, had been unlucky not to play more often.
“He showed great quality, defensive sacrifice, he did very well,” Ancelotti said. “That means he could have played more minutes. But [Jude] Bellingham has played in that position. Today Brahim replaced him very well.”

The coach said goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who dropped out of the starting XI before kickoff and was replaced by Lunin, had felt “discomfort” in the warm up and would be assessed on Thursday.

Napoli are poised to go through from the group alongside Real despite being held to a 1-1 draw at home by Union Berlin.
Matteo Politano put Napoli ahead late in the first half but David Datro Fofana, on loan from Chelsea, equalised soon after the restart.
The result allowed Union to end a 12-game losing run but they cannot now qualify for the last 16.

Their Bundesliga rivals Bayern qualified with a 2-1 victory at home to Galatasaray, their 17th consecutive win in the Champions League group stage.
Thomas Tuchel’s side saw Galatasaray have a goal disallowed for offside before Harry Kane headed in the opener with just 10 minutes left.
Kane then added another, his 19th goal already for Bayern in just 15 appearances, before Cedric Bakambu pulled one back in stoppage time for Galatasaray.

“He’s a phenomenon and we’re proud that he’s playing in the team,” Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer told broadcaster DAZN of Kane.
Galatasaray still stand every chance of going through from Group A after United lost in a remarkable game in Denmark.
Erik ten Hag’s team appeared to be cruising thanks to two goals in the first half an hour by their Danish striker Rasmus Hojlund.

Yet they suffered a blow when Marcus Rashford was controversially sent off in the 42nd minute for a foul on Elias Jelert, and Copenhagen took full advantage to haul themselves level by the break.

Mohamed Elyounoussi pulled one back before Diogo Goncalves equalised from the spot in the ninth minute of stoppage time.
Still United got back in front via a Bruno Fernandes penalty midway through the second half, but Lukas Lerager made it 3-3 seven minutes from time and Roony Bardghji, the 17-year-old Kuwait-born Swedish Under-21 international, got Copenhagen’s winner in the 87th minute.

Ten Hag’s team have now lost three of their four Champions League matches this season and have been beaten in nine of their 17 games in all competitions.
“I think first we played very good until the red card. The red card changed everything. Then it becomes a different game,” Ten Hag told broadcaster TNT Sports.
“I saw lots of positives, but in the end we lose some focus. It’s hard when you play so long with 10 men.”

Meanwhile, Arsenal are on the brink of progressing from Group B after a 2-0 home win over Sevilla, in which Bukayo Saka set up Leandro Trossard for the opener in the first half, and then added the second after the break.

“I’m really happy with the performance from the team. They showed aggression and commitment,” Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta told TNT Sports.
The Gunners are four points ahead of both Lens and PSV Eindhoven, with the Dutch side boosting their own hopes by beating the French side 1-0 thanks to Luuk de Jong’s early header.
Lens had substitute Morgan Guilavogui sent off late on.

In Group D, Inter secured their progress with a 1-0 win away to Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, a game settled by a late Lautaro Martinez penalty.
That result also allowed Real Sociedad to qualify after their earlier 3-1 defeat of Portuguese giants Benfica, who have lost all four matches in the group.

Mikel Merino, Mikel Oyarzabal and Ander Barrenetxea all scored in the first 21 minutes for the hosts, before Brais Mendez hit the post with a penalty. Rafa Silva pulled one back for Benfica. with reports

Continue Reading


Ancelotti returns to Napoli with Real to prove a Point



Fourteen times champions, Spain’s Real Madrid are set to play one of the most in-form teams in Italy in what promises to be their “toughest group-stage game”, as veteran coach, Italian Carlo Ancelotti, said on Monday (02 October) ahead of the huge Champions League clash.

LaLiga leaders Real began their quest for a record-extending 15th European Cup with a last-gasp 1-0 home victory over Union Berlin last month, while Italian champions Napoli, who are currently third in Serie A, won 2-1 at Sporting Braga.
Tuesday’s clash at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium could be pivotal to both sides’ aims of taking top spot in group C.

“We’ll play against one of the best teams in Italy. They did very well last year. It will be a competitive and evenly matched game as they have a high level,” Ancelotti, who once managed Napoli, told a news conference.
“It’s going to be the toughest game of the group stage for us. I don’t want to say that we’re used to it, but the shirt of this club weighs on us.”
The match will also see Ancelotti return to Naples after he managed 73 games at the club from 2018 to 2019, leading the team in an unbeaten run in the Champions group stage before being sacked with the team in seventh place in Serie A.

“I had positive moments, it is a wonderful city. There were also less good moments, but I have the memory of a positive experience,” Ancelotti said.
“Backtracking before a game like this doesn’t make sense. When the relationship between a club and a coach doesn’t have the right feeling, it’s better to stop.
“I think it was the right decision for Napoli and for me, because two years later I came back to the best club in the world.”

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti is not a man to hold a grudge, as reflected by his return to the Spanish capital despite being harshly sacked by Los Blancos chief Florentino Perez in 2015.
However the 64-year-old veteran would doubtless enjoy proving a point when his Madrid side visit Napoli in the Champions League on Tuesday at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.

Ancelotti was axed by president Aurelio De Laurentiis in December 2019, less than an hour after helping Napoli reach the Champions League knock-out stages with a 4-0 thrashing of Genk.
The Italian side were struggling in seventh in Serie A at the time and won their first Scudetto for 33 years in 2023, so De Laurentiis will consider his decisions more than justified.

Ancelotti spent a year and a half in charge of Napoli, guiding them to a second place finish in the 2018-19 campaign, but his tenure was abruptly cut short in its sophomore year.
At the time it seemed Ancelotti had reached the game’s summit years earlier and was on the way down football’s food chain, with his next appointment at Everton appearing to confirm that.
Dressing room tensions and a dispute with De Laurentiis over a training camp led to his downfall in Campania. The president appeared to think Ancelotti did not have it in him to manage the squad.

However Ancelotti’s surprise return to the helm of Madrid in 2021 put him back among the elite, and in 2022 he won his fourth Champions League title as a coach, more than anyone else, as well as LaLiga to complete a superb double.

Meanwhile, Madrid’s 3-0 win at Girona on Sunday ensures they also arrive in Italy as leaders in LaLiga, after a wobble in the derby against rivals Atletico Madrid. A painful 3-1 loss at the Metropolitano on September 24 saw Ancelotti come in for criticism for his tactics and diamond midfield system.

However the Italian made some minor changes and it proved sufficient to earn a comfortable victory over the high-flying Catalans, who had hoped to score a second consecutive home win over Madrid at Montilivi.
“Winning here means that we did well and I’d like to highlight our defensive work, which was very good,” Ancelotti told reporters.

The coach deployed Eduardo Camavinga at left-back instead of the more attacking Fran Garcia, and also asked Jude Bellingham to help with covering Girona to ease the burden on Vinicius Junior.
“We put Bellingham on the outside to avoid Vini having too many defensive duties, bearing in mind that (Aurelien) Tchouameni was in the centre to provide cover,” added Ancelotti.

Bellingham has seven goals and two assists this season across all competitions, largely playing in the number 10 role, despite his capacity to operate in deeper areas.
It was an “invention” by Ancelotti to help cover for the departed Karim Benzema and so far it has paid dividends for the England international, top scorer in Spain.

The coach’s tactical shift and subsequent tweaks dispel any doubts over his dedication at Madrid, showing he is not just on cruise control and heading towards the Brazil national team job he is set to take next summer.
Part of the reason behind the new set-up is to add muscle to the team and bolster the midfield, after Manchester City demolished the record 14-time European champions in last season’s semifinal.

The visit to Napoli will be another acid test for both Ancelotti’s plan and Madrid’s squad depth, with striker Victor Osimhen in excellent form, despite his recent anger over the club insulting him on social media network TikTok.
Los Blancos are without injured defender David Alaba, leaving only Antonio Rudiger and Nacho Fernandez available in central defence.

Napoli coach Rudi Garcia will also be looking forward to the game – he was due to face Madrid when at Roma in 2016, but was sacked ahead of the last 16 tie.
Real Madrid and Napoli last met in the Champions League in the 2016-17 round of 16 when the Spanish giants won both legs 3-1 to and went on to claim the title. with and www.reuters reports

Continue Reading