The Brazilian soccer factory has churned out another prodigy.
Alexandre Pato will be the brightest star on a team full of them when Brazil begins its quest for a fifth world under-20 soccer title against Poland at Olympic Stadium on Saturday (CBC, 2 p.m. ET).
Pato's full name is Alexandre Rodrigues Da Silva, but he is better known as Alexandre Pato after his birthplace Pato Branco, which means White Duck.
Despite being the youngest player on the Brazilian team - he turns 18 in September - Pato established himself as the high-octane side's most dangerous attacker during qualifying in January with a team-leading five goals as Brazil went undefeated in nine games.
"The best part of the team is not just me," Pato said modestly through an interpreter. "It's the unity of the players, and we have an excellent coach."
Still the spotlight will be fixed directly on Pato over the next three weeks of competition on and off the field. Marquee clubs like England's Chelsea and Italy's AC Milan are leading the race to sign Pato from Brazil's Internacional, according to Pato's agent Gilmar Veloz.
Pato says the added attention will not cause too many sleepless nights.
"I don't feel any pressure at all, I'm just happy that people know me and recognize me as a good player," Pato said. "But I'm only 17 years old, so I don't need to feel any pressure."
Blessed with terrific ball control, Pato can make goals as well as score them. His game is full of deft chips and seeing-eye passes.
Brazilian coach Nelson Rodrigues says Pato's footwork, his touch around the net and his ability to score on headers are exceptional, but what impresses him most is the mental side of the teenager's game.
"He is a very intelligent player," Rodrigues said. "But his personality is probably his top quality."
The five-foot-10, 156-pound Pato made his pro debut with Internacional in November in remarkable style, scoring a goal 94 seconds into the match, setting up two others and heading a shot off the post in the first 57 minutes of a 4-1 win over Palmeiras.
At the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan in December, Pato scored in a 2-1 semifinal win over Al Ahli of Egypt and displayed his remarkable flair in the second half when he kicked the ball in the air and dribbled it down the sideline on his shoulder a couple of times.
Internacional upset European champion FC Barcelona and its Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho 1-0 in the Club World Cup final in what was likely Pato's final game for the Brazilian club.
In the meantime, however, Pato is most concentrated on the task at hand - winning the U-20 World Cup for Brazil.
Pato says there will be adjustments for him and his teammates when it comes to playing indoors at Olympic Stadium on an artificial surface and Brazil's grouping with Poland, the United States and South Korea is considered by Rodrigues to be the toughest in the tournament.
"They are all good teams," Pato said, "or else they wouldn't be here."