Vitor Roque: Why Barcelona have spent €35m on Brazil’s ‘new Ronaldo’

Every year, a wealth of top teenage Brazilian talents move to Europe, and they come in a similar mould. Usually immensely skillful, quick, and promising, all of them are swiftly boxed into a comparison with a Brazil legend. A lot of them prove to be inaccurate, not least because very few players reach the heights of Neymar, Ronaldinho, or Ronaldo - some of the most common associations.

But the latest one perhaps has a bit more of a likeness to a legend than some of those before him. Indeed, Vitor Roque, fresh off being announced as a new signing at Barca, shares a past freakishly similar to that of Ronaldo, and certainly evokes memories of R9.

Like Ronaldo, Vitor burst onto the scene at Cruzeiro as a teenager and netted his first goal as a 16-year-old. The traits are familiar here, too. Roque is very direct, but can still bust out his own array of Cruyff turns, stepovers and sharp cuts — all while having the core strength to shield the ball.


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