Endrick and what he means

By Eireen Manikan

To all football lovers, this name means a lot lately. He is the latest wonderkid to join the ranks of big names in this sport and to think he is only 17! Endrick Felipe (Moreira de Sousa) hails from a small town in Brazil called Taguatinga and with the usual ingredient needed in a success-story: came from a poor family. He even became homeless at one point and stayed at an orphanage before being reunited with his family again whose father was also a big football fan.

His talent was such that at 11, Palmeiras noticed him and made him a member of the club giving a janitorial job for his father (who was instrumental in developing his interest for the sport.)  His stint there is one for the books scoring 165 goals in the 169 games for the youth teams of the club. He felt so strongly about his destiny that in one of their simple family meals he vowed to his father that soon their lives will change because of his football success and that he promised to take his family out of their financial misery.

Fast forward today: Endrick has signed with Real Madrid after being courted by other top clubs as well, in what is obviously a life-changing deal. Though the final price for this Wonderkid wasn’t revealed, it was learned that Madrid reportedly paid Palmeiras 35m euros for his release with another 23m euros in add-ons.

And boy did he not disappoint, delivering a win for Madrid against England in Wembley recently. He also made it to the elite list of Brazillian superstars who scored an international goal in their teens who include: Pele, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Neymar.

I have three takeaways from this great story. First, there is no exchange to parental guidance and influence.  Children have no other great source of strength and guidance the moment they wake up than their parents.  The child’s likes and habits will be developed through the parents. If Douglas Ramos, the father, did not show the level of support and interest he did, maybe Endrick wouldn’t be that great at an early age.

Second, poverty should be a source of inspiration instead of crime-justification.  This sport is big on making poor guys rich. Most of the highest-earned stars came from poor families that drove them to be the best in the field and have their lives changed beyond their imaginations. There is a high price for that though as I have seen in Beckham’s documentary. Discipline and hard-core commitment. Unlike those who want it easy and resort to crime instead.

Third, what are we doing to the Endricks of our country? Are we giving them the necessary support to be the best that they can be? As parents, teachers, government officials and other forms of influencers and shapers of their lives, are we doing our share to ensure that at 17, they get to shine in an international stage moreso if the talent is astounding or are we the killers of their dreams leaving them embittered and desperate and willing to give up their home country (and identity) to be the Endrick of another? (Source: Skynews.com)