17-year-old Real Madrid-bound sensation Endrick has earned a milestone call up to the senior Brazil men’s national team.
Interim Canarinha head coach Fernando Diniz announced his squad on Monday for Brazil’s 2026 World Cup qualifier later this month and revealed that the uncapped Endrick will feature in the national team for the first time.
In doing so, the Palmeiras breakout star became the youngest player to get a senior Seleção call-up since iconic striker Ronaldo Nazario in 1994. Ronaldo – nicknamed O Fenômeno – is considered one of the greatest soccer players of all time and won the World Cup twice with Brazil.
“He’s a player who has the potential to be one of those great talents. We don’t know if it will be confirmed,” Diniz said at the unveiling press conference. “[The call-up is] not pressure. It’s a prize and a vision of the future of what this kid can be.
“A boy born in 2006 producing what he produces catches my attention. And right now, he is experiencing his best moment, playing against great teams in Brazil and managing to stand out.”
Spanish giant Real Madrid announced in December last year it had reached an agreement with Endrick to join the club when he turns 18 in July 2024 in a deal worth €70 million ($74.77 million).
The prodigy broke through at Brazilian side Palmeiras, playing just 307 senior minutes before signing for Real Madrid, and has continued to play for the São Paulo-based club while he waits to move to Spain.
He earned praise from Ronaldo around last year’s World Cup in Qatar, with the two-time Ballon d’Or winner even suggesting that Endrick could have been brought to the tournament for experience.
“Before the World Cup, I suggested that if there was an opportunity to take a young player like Endrick, it would be very similar to when I was taken [in 1994] and would have an impressive impact on his life,” the former Real Madrid star said.
Endrick became the youngest player to make his debut and score for Palmeiras, as well as becoming the only player in club history to have picked up trophies at every age level.
His recent form has earned him his maiden call-up after scoring three goals in his last two appearances. He has now scored 14 goals in 54 appearances for the Verdão.
Endrick is one of four first-time selections to the Brazil men’s squad alongside Brighton and Hove Albion’s João Pedro, Atlético Mineiro’s Paulinho and Porto forward Pepê.
Brazil will travel to face Colombia in Baranquilla on Thursday, November 16, before hosting world champion Argentina at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro five days later.
The Seleção sits third in South American qualifying with seven points after four games. The top six teams automatically qualify for the 2026 World Cup which is being hosted in the US, Canada and Mexico, while the seventh-placed nation must go through a play-off to reach international soccer’s showpiece competition.
Brazil is without captain and all-time top goalscorer Neymar after he tore his ACL in October. The team is also missing the injured Éder Militão and Casemiro.