Spanish giants F.C. Barcelona finally seem to have signed Brazilian wonderkid Vitor Roque from Athletico Paranaense, after rumors have been rife about the club’s special interest in the player. According to multiple reports, the La Liga champions have sealed the deal for about 35 million euros. The youngster is reported to have signed a lengthy contract of 7 years.
The transfer fee, which is reported to be the biggest in Brazilian football, will be paid in installments with further bonuses to be paid in relation to the number of matches played, goals scored, and individual and team awards.
Roque, one for the Future
The addition of the promising young striker comes as a vital reinforcement in the attack. The player could learn from the experience of Robert Lewandowski and replace the injury-prone and misfiring Ansu Fati in the upfront.
He joins a rank of young talents with Pedri, Gavi, Fati, Frenkie de Jong, and Lamine Yamal among others.
Roque, who made his debut for the Brazilian national team in March 2023, helped Brazil win the South American Youth Championship earlier this year.
Barca’s Journey Back to the Top
After the humiliating Lionel Messi saga which saw the Argentina ace reject Barca’s attempts to sign him back from PSG, and choose Inter Miami instead, as his next destination, the Catalans could be taking the heartbreak into their strides and look towards the future.
Plagued by economic struggles in recent years, Barca have been unable to land many top talents they had their sights on. Consequently, they have slumped back from their erstwhile domination of Europe.
A series of bad investments resulted in great financial losses. The Blaugranas hit rock bottom in 2021 when they shockingly announced that they would have to let go of Lionel Messi. The club could not register the player even after the latter agreed to reduce his fee to half, as others were on hefty wages.
The following season saw them have arguably the worst season in recent memory, as they ended up trophyless at the end of the season. They were also eliminated from the Champions League group stage in back-to-back seasons.
Things started to look better when Joan Laporta came back as the director after winning the election. He appointed former Barca legend, Xavi as the new coach, under whom the club made striking improvements.
Barca, a team of Veterans
After signing a number of big names last season, Xavi finally led Barca to their league triumph for the first time in four years. The most notable signings included the Polish goal-machine Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Jules Kounde, Andreas Christensen, and Marcos Alonso.
However, the club cannot rely on the goalscoring prowess of Lewandowski for long, the player being 34 years old. Even though two club legends in Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba have left at the end of the season, Barcelona still seem to be struggling with an aged squad.
Roque’s imminent arrival comes as a breath of fresh air for the club after missing out on Brazilian wonderkid, Endrick, and Turkish prodigy Arda Guler, who both joined arch-rivals Real Madrid.