Vitor Roque is the name being repeated through several Spanish mediums. Who exactly is he, and why does Barcelona want his signature?
Roque, born on February 28th, 2005, is one of Brazil’s up-and-coming superstars. The player from Athletico-PR (Brazil) is only 18 years old and he has already created quite a buzz in the European football atmosphere. Teams such as Arsenal and Juventus are also eyeing his signature, so Barca are making it a priority to bring him to Camp Nou in the summer.
The 1.72 meters (5 foot 8 inches) center forward is a force to be reckoned with. Luis Felipe Scolari, World Cup-winning coach with Brazil in 2002, described Roque as a “…different player. He’s seventeen, but because of his physicality, technique, and mentality, it seems as if he was 22 or 23. A center forward that is extremely hard to defend, protects the ball well, is rapid, and gets involved with the build-up play.”
If I had to give three words describing his style of play, they would be: daring, strong, and determined. Watching a quick Youtube video on his highlights and skills is enough to see why the Catalan side would want a player of his profile. He runs with the ball at an incredible pace, all while maintaining a low sense of gravity to avoid losing balance. His determined attitude is also notable. While dribbling, he’s being kicked, grabbed, and lunged at, but it doesn’t seem to faze him. He doesn’t give up on the ball whatsoever, even after being tackled. Almost reminds me of how a certain Lionel Messi runs with the ball.
Roque’s current contract with Athletico Paranaense has him at the club until the end of May 2027. Barcelona is looking to bring him in during the summer transfer window, but would this even be feasible given their current financial situation?
The Brazilian’s market value, as per TransferMarkt, is around €11million. This may seem like a steal, but since his contract ends in 2027, Athletico-PR is going to be wanting to sell him for more. Roger Torelló (MD) says that the Brazilian side would want around €35-45 million for the prospect. This a staggering number for a teenager that is yet to prove himself in Europe, but some may claim that it is a relatively good deal considering how expensive other young talents are – an example being Endrick (16) to Real Madrid for a deal north of €60 million.
Luckily for Barcelona, it is understood that Athletico-PR are open to accepting payments spread across several years. This could really help the La Liga champions finance his signing.
Overall, the player seems motivated to join Barcelona and play at the highest level under Xavi. Time will tell whether or not he books the flight to Catalonia.