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A Brazilian wunderkind

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Brazil. The land of Samba, Cachaca, Christ the Redeemer, and, of course, football. For decades, the nation has produced some of the best footballers and continues to do so. And the latest player to come out of Brazil’s conveyor belt of talent is Athletico Paranaense’s, Vitor Roque. The 17-year-old Brazilian is the latest name to catch everyone’s attention across the nation. 

Capable of playing as a second striker or on the wings, Vitor Rogue has delivered some brilliant performances and is already on the radars of several top European clubs. Along With another talented young star Endrick Felipe, Roque represents the next generation of footballers coming out of Brazil ready to take the world by storm. 

From Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A to the Campeonato Mineiro to the Copa Libertadores, Vitor Roque performed at each level at a young age. And Athletico Paranaense will be hoping Roque’s growth trajectory continues upward.

So, who is Vitor Roque, and how good is he?

Who is Vitor Roque?

Vitor Hugo Roque Ferreira, also known as Vitor Roque, is a 17-year-old striker who plays for Brazilian Serie A club Athletico Paranaense. Vitor Roque was born on February 28, 2005 in Timoteo, Minas Gerais, a province in Southeastern Brazil. From a young age, he had a keen interest in football. 

Vitor Roque’s footballing journey started at 10 when he joined America Mineiro’s youth team. The team was one of the best in Minas Gerais, which provided the best facilities for a player to flourish. During his four-year stay at the club, Roque made quick progress within the youth ranks. 

However, his relationship with America Mineiro ended in 2019 when he signed for Cruzeiro. This move triggered a row between America Mineiro and Cruzeiro, with the former going to court over the transfer. A settlement between the clubs ended the dispute with Cruzeiro getting 65 per cent of the player’s rights, with the rest going to America Mineiro. 

Five months after signing for Cruzeiro, Vitor Roque made his debut as a professional footballer in the second-tier Brazilian league. He would play five matches for the team impressing everyone with his performances. He scored his first goal in a Campeonato Mineiro match against Villa Nova.

His impressive displays caught the attention of Athletico Paranaense. The team moved quickly to snap him up on a five-year contract and drafted him straight to the first team. 

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Vitor Roque stats 

To say he is one of the best young players in Brazil would be a gross understatement. The teenager has impressed not only in the national league but also in Copa Libertadores, the continental tournament. This season, Vitor Roque scored four goals and provided one assist in 21 games. These are incredible numbers for a 17-year-old playing among Brazil’s best. 

Roque also has two goals and provided two assists in six Copa Libertadores matches. These are good numbers for an established star, let alone a player as young as Vitor Roque. However, what has been more impressive is that despite being a left-footer, three of his four goals have come from his right foot, which shows he is an ambipedal.  

However, these are not the only traits Vitor Roque brings to the team. According to Fotmob, the player has won four penalties in the league, the most in the league. This is despite the fact he has only played an average of 41 minutes per game. What this shows is his clever off-the-ball and on-the-ball movements. And these stats will only get better as his game time gradually increases. 

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Vitor Roque potential and style of play 

Vitor Roque’s success at the highest level at such a young age is not only due to his talent but also his brilliant awareness. And a great example of it is his off-the-ball movement, especially in the attacking third. His movement is based on finding space, similar to Thomas Muller’s Raumdeuter role. However, finding space is one thing and exploiting it for good use is quite another.

Vitor Roque is also brilliant at holding up play, a usual trait in modern-day centre-backs. So he can score, assist, and always finds gaps in the space at 17. This makes him an extraordinary forward, but he also has other arrows in his quiver. 

Apart from all the aforementioned skills, Roque is also very fast and, at the same time, has immense physical strength. His pace and physicality are why he won four penalties for his team and why more often than not, fouling him was the only way to stop him. 

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Vitor Roque transfer news 

While Vitor Roque may be getting the entire Brazil on their feet with his beautiful play, he remains an unfinished product. More often than not, Roque tries to do it alone, snuffing out the team’s attack. Thus, it looks like he will remain for a season or two at Athletico Paranaense or at the least change teams but stay in the Brazilian league. 

However, if reports are to be believed, the teenager is on the radars of two clubs that play each other in the famous El Clasico derby. Barcelona and Real Madrid have always emphasised on talent from South America. As a result, the clubs have had great success signing gems from the continent, including Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Casemiro and the Champions League final hero Vincius Jr to name a few. 

And now it’s reported that the two clubs will be fighting it out to sign the talented youngster. For a 17-year-old player, that right there is the most significant approval of his immense talent. 

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
A Bayern Munich fan who is deeply in love with football statistics. Has a soft spot for goalkeepers! (well only he knows why). You’ll find him vibing on 70’s classic songs and spends an abnormal amount of time cooking.

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