Cristiano Ronaldo has long been an inspiration to young footballers across the world, and Endrick is the latest high-profile wonderkid to heap praise on the legendary player – but not simply for his footballing ability.
Due to sign for Real Madrid in July 2024 when he turns 18, Endrick has impressed world football with his displays for Palmeiras since breaking into the first team last October at just 16-years-old.
Speaking exclusively to FourFourTwothe Brazilian wonderkid has singled out Cristiano Ronaldo as one of his main inspirations as a young footballer, although it isn’t because the Portuguese has scored incredible goals or played so successfully for clubs such as Real Madrid, Manchester United and Juventus.
“I just want to be Endrick and want to show people Endrick,” he said FFT.
“If there’s anyone who influences me, not because of the teams he played for, the goals he scored or the titles he won, but because of the person he is, it’s Cristiano Ronaldo.”
Despite Ronaldo’s character coming in for plenty of criticism at the end of 2022, which resulted in him leaving Manchester United by mutual consent after an explosive interview with Piers Morgan, Endrick clearly isn’t perturbed by Ronaldo’s personality.
What’s more, Endrick points to his idol’s ability to play almost every game possible as motivation.
Across 20 years as a professional footballer, Ronaldo has missed a minimal amount of fixtures through his impressive dedication to staying fully fit as much as possible. A torn collateral ligament in 2016 and an ankle problem in 2007 are arguably the only two major injury issues of Ronaldo’s career, something Endrick is clearly striving for.
“I want to improve myself and not keep getting injured, so I like to look upon Cristiano’s example.”
With his move to Real Madrid still a year-and-a-half away, Endrick says he doesn’t want to grow too tall, telling FFT it might make him lose his impressive attributes.
“I don’t want to get too tall,” he said.
“I always say that because I don’t want to lose my agility or my balance, as I have a bit of both, and I want to be a player who wins balls in the air. But you don’t have to be tall to be a player.
“What is needed is intelligence, so I need to work on my head. How much I’m still going to grow, it won’t matter to me.”