South American champions Internacional have unearthed a 17-year-old prodigy they believe may steal the show in next month's World Club Championship.

The player popularly known as Pato Alexandre - Alex the Duck - made an extraordinary professional debut last Sunday away to Palmeiras which has already got the critics talking about another great Brazilian discovery.

The quietly-spoken teenager scored after 94 seconds with his first touch of the ball, set up two more - including one with a disconcerting dribble - and headed against the post in a hectic 57 minutes before being substituted with his team 4-0 ahead. They went on to win 4-1.

"We had believed something like this would happen, he's a delightful sight for sore eyes," said Internacional president Fernando Carvalho.

"But I didn't expect such a mature and natural approach. That's why he had such a great game."

Internacional, who won the South American Libertadores Cup in August, are seen as Barcelona's main challengers at next month's tournament in Japan.

The emergence of Alexandre - full name Alexandre Rodrigues da Silva - is a major boost for Internacional, who will be trying to keep the trophy in South America after Sao Paulo's win last year.

Internacional have already inserted a $20 million penalty clause for any foreign club which wants to sign Alexandre.

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