The brilliant Palmeiras and Brazil forwards tells the Guardian about the phone call from Pep Guardiola that convinced him to meet Manchester City and that his mum is never pleased with him unless he helps out defensively too

No one wants to be told off by their baby and Gabriel Jesus is no different. The Brazilian wonderkid, who signed for Manchester City in the summer for 27 m and will join the Premier League chairmen in January, has the potential to become one of the best forwards in “the worlds” but what obligates him stand out even more is his desire to likewise help out defensively.

It is not a attribute he shares with too many forwards but then they may not get a rollocking from their father if they do not is to assist at the back. Gabriel Jesus does. Yes, its genuine that my mother has a go at me when I dont track back, he remarks in his first interview with non-Brazilian media since signing for City. We are very, very close and she expects a lot from me, which is great. She only praises me if I have done something are worth accolade. I am really happy to have a mum like that, that actually maintenances. She ever tells me the truth and her candour facilitates me a lot.

Mrs Vera Lcia is a constant and immensely positive existence in Gabriel Jesuss life and that is no surprise considering his upbringing. The actors parent died when Gabriel Jesus was young and his mother elevated him and his three brothers on her own. She was a cleaner back then and there was not a lot of money around. A football actor grows up faster than other parties, he announces. I grew up very quickly because of certain difficulties and responsibilities that I have always had.

Gabriel Jesus is a very mature 19 -year-old. We satisfy at Academia de futebol, Palmeirass training centre and he is polite and humble. He does not wear sunglasses or headphones and does not play with his mobile during the course of its interrogation. He starts by apologising for being late. I had to do the ice bathroom, he explains.

It has been a stormy 18 months for the man from Jardim Peri, a humble locality on the suburbs of So Paulo( it is a comunidade , a kind of favela , only a little bit more peaceful ). In March 2015 he made his debut for Palmeiras after scoring 37 objectives in 22 games in the Paulista Under-1 7 rivalry and at the end of the season he was mentioned best available newcomer of the Brasileiro .

And that was just the beginning. This summertime he won Olympic gold with Braziland then prepared his debut for the senior team, tallying two aims in a 3-0 away triumph against Ecuador. And he is still a boy. The former Brazil and Real Madrid striker Ronaldo, for one, is a fan: When I envision Gabriel I think about my own past. He has a phenomenal journeying onward, Ronaldo told TV Globo recently.

It is not that long ago Gabriel Jesus was playing for the amateur team Pequeninos do Meio Ambiente on the tars of the military prison camp Romo Gomes. He moved on to Anhanguera but, unlike numerous staggering genius these days, he did not connect a top side Palmeiras until persons under the age of 15 so his vocation was very much determined by street football.

Gabriel Jesus: sciences, manoeuvres and destinations.

His childhood neighbourhood is always on his thought and on his skin. On his forearm there is a tattoo proving a boy with a ball in his hand looking at a favela in front of him, reverie of a better future in football. The tattoo is almost identical to the one that his friend Neymar has.

I have always enjoyed working on and thats why I try to give my best good tactically as well as going forward. From an early age, in my vrzea epoches[ a special type of Brazilian street football ], I tried to take in all the instructions of all the coach-and-fours I had. I am the same today. After all, it is very important to penetrate the pitching knowing what I have to do to help the team.

He no longer lives in Jardim Peri but goes back to visit pals. When doing so in December he was stopped by the police while driving his expensive car. A dark-skinned son cannot drive a nice vehicle in the neighborhood where he grew up without being stopped by the police. Everyone knows how hard it is to be black in local communities, he wrote on Instagram.

He stayed in Jardim Peri until last year. He could have left for So Paulo as early as 2010 but the fraternity did not give him adaptation, meaning that he would have had to travel for four hours to get to and from discipline, and that would have had a negative impact on his academy work.

Not that Gabriel Jesus paid too much attention to anything apart from football. My whole life has always been football and that merely, he says. Since I was six years old Ive only really was just thinking about football. I used to watch it on TV, romp video games and so on. I merely adore football. Some beings joke that I am too into it but football simply sums up my life.

His discipline is surprising for the purposes of the a young age, and this is probably one of the things that has impressed Pep Guardiola, the manager who was hopeless to bring him to City. Gabriel Jesus was a red-hot prospect even before the Olympics and City were able to beat off tournament from Barcelona, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain partly because of a phone call from their new manager.

It was a complicated decision, but in the end my desire to learn prevailed, Gabriel Jesus says. The spirit of Guardiola as a manager at City and the facts of the case that it is a great team were very important factors in my final decision. Guardiolas phone call was a huge part of me deciding to go there. It realise me realise that Id love to work with him. I dont know him personally yet but he already obligated me feel very safe about his assignment there.

Gabriel Jesus, celebrating here after scoring for Palmeiras against Figueirense in June, hopes to win the Brazilian name before coming to Manchester. Photograph: Brazil Photo Press/ CON/ LatinContent/ Getty Images

Where will he play though? City are not exactly lacking in assaulting aptitude with Sergio Agero, Raheem Sterling, David Silva, Nolito, Kelechi Iheanacho, Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy San and Jess Navas able to occupy the send postures. For Palmeiras Gabriel Jesus played broad on the left before Cuca, the manager, moved him into the centre with good results: 11 objectives in 18 conference games.

I conclude I will fight for a home as a winger in the team, he alleges. I actually wish playing as a left-winger rather than a striker, but I simply want to be very clear that Im willing to play in either outlook. I am often prepared to give up a position high on the pitch and help out defensively because some good distinguish and tackling can result in a point for my unit in the end. Id like to think that Im a versatile player.

Only two years ago, during the World cup finals, Gabriel Jesus was covering the sidewalk of his street in green and yellowish as a love. Today he is one of the reference points in criticize for squad and country. Palmeiras are defying for the title, they pulsate Corinthians 2-0 at the weekend to bide top, and Gabriel Jesus desperately wants to leave for Manchester City having won the tournament. At Verdo he is an undisputed idol Glory, splendor, alleluia, is Gabriel Jesus is the song that all fans sing( even if it irks his mother, who is a very religious person ).

But even if he contributes the Brazilian title to his Olympic medal, he will not get too carried away. I try to manage my progress in a down-to-earth pattern, he does. Some players prevail a trophy and think that they are on top of “the worlds”. I dont let it go to my front. Beings idolise me for prevailing the Olympics but I hinder responding: It is just a medal.

Arguably the biggest challenge lies ahead forcing his space into Citys starting XI. All this change does not scare me at all, he answers. My life has always been full of challenges. Obviously this is a bigger one, but best available engagements are given to the best warriors. I will listen to the managers sentiment and his advice in order to enhance and adapt as fast as I perhaps can.


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