Football News

‘He plays like Ronaldo’ — Kaio Jorge’s U17 World Cup-winning coach believes Juventus “have signed an absolute talent”

By Ben Green

Published: 16:28, 5 August 2021

Santos wonderkid Kaio Jorge is closing in on a move to Juventus and his former Brazil U17 coach believes the Turin club are getting a playing who “resembles Ronaldo, The Phenomenon“.

Jorge, 19, is the latest gem to hail from the illustrious Vila Belmiro in Sao Paulo, fertile soil for some of football’s finest talents, including the likes of Neymar and Rodrygo in recent times, as well as Brazilian immortal and three-time World Cup winner Pele.

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Despite still being in his teenage years, the talented tyro has accumulated nearly 90 appearances for boyhood club Santos and crosses the Atlantic with a burgeoning reputation as one of the best youngsters in all of South America.

He completed his medical on Wednesday in Turin ahead of a proposed £3m deal, with Santos forced to sell low as Jorge’s current contract with the club expires in December, and manager Fernando Diniz recently confirming “he wants to leave”.

The Selecao starlet has already generated the moniker Menino de Oro — “Golden Boy” — after excelling at youth level for Santos, in which he netted over 100 goals from the U11s all the through to his debut for the first team at just 16 years of age.

Kaio was also a revelation in the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup, in which he received the Bronze Boot and helped his nation lift the esteemed youth gong. A tournament famously won two years earlier by an England side that included Phil Foden, Jadon Sancho and Emile Smith Rowe.

His manager at that tournament was Guilherme Dalla Dea, and he has likened his former sharpshooter to Brazilian legend Ronaldo, believing Juventus are getting “an absolute talent” who will transform Massimiliano Allegri’s attack.

“Juve have signed an absolute talent,” Dalla Dea told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “In some ways he resembles Ronaldo the phenomenon.

“He has speed and technique, he can be lethal one-on-one, and he already has the character to fit Juve.

“He will be the revelation of the Bianconeri and in Serie A. Juve have certainly secured a talent for the future. It’s really a coup.”