The brilliant Palmeiras and Brazil forward tells the Guardian about the phone call from Pep Guardiola that persuasion him to connect 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 presidents in January, provides an opportunity to become one of the best forwards in “the worlds” but what acquires him stand out even more is his desire to too help out defensively.
It is not a trait he shares with too many forwards but then they are not able to get a rollocking from their baby if they do not is to assist at the back. Gabriel Jesus does. Yes, its true-life that my mother has a go at me when I dont track back, he articulates 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 worthy of accolade. I am really happy to have a mum like that, that actually attentions. She always tells me the truth and her candour facilitates me a lot.
Mrs Vera Lcia is a constant and staggeringly positive spirit in Gabriel Jesuss life and that is no surprise considering his upbringing. The musicians parent were killed when Gabriel Jesus was young and his mother grew him and his three friends 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 beings, he remarks. I grew up very rapidly because of the difficulties and responsibilities that I have always had.
Gabriel Jesus is a very mature 19 -year-old. We fill 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 interview. He starts by apologising for being late. I had to do the sparkler shower, he explains.
It has been a stormy 18 months for “the mens” from Jardim Peri, a humble community on the outskirts of So Paulo( it is a comunidade , a kind of favela , exclusively a little bit more peaceful ). In March 2015 he made his debut for Palmeiras after tallying 37 aims in 22 plays in the Paulista Under-1 7 competition and at the end of the season he was reputation best available beginner of the Brasileiro .
And that was just the beginning. This summertime he won Olympic gold with Braziland then built his debut for the elderly team, scoring two purposes in a 3-0 away prevail against Ecuador. And he is still a teenager. The former Brazil and Real Madrid striker Ronaldo, for one, is a follower: When I hear Gabriel I think about my own past. He has a marvelous outing onward, Ronaldo told TV Globo recently.
It is not that long ago Gabriel Jesus was playing for the amateur crew Pequeninos do Meio Ambiente on the lurches of the military prison camp Romo Gomes. He moved on to Anhanguera but, unlike many staggering talents these days, he did not assemble a top side Palmeiras until the age of 15 so his vocation was very much influenced by street football.
His childhood neighbourhood is always on his attention and on his skin. On his forearm there is a tattoo presenting a boy with a ball in his hands looking at a favela in front of him, dreaming of a better future in football. The tattoo is almost identical to the one that his friend Neymar has.
I have always enjoyed working hard and thats why I try to give my best good tactically as well as going forward. From an early age, in my vrzea dates[ a special type of Brazilian street football ], I tried to take in all the instructions of all the managers I had. I am the same today. After all, it is most important to penetrate the pitch knowing what I have to do to help the team.
He no longer was living in Jardim Peri but goes back to visit acquaintances. When doing so in December he was stopped by the police while driving his expensive auto. A dark-skinned son cannot drive a nice vehicle in the community where he grew up without being stopped by the police. Everyone knows how hard it is to be black in our communities, he wrote on Instagram.
He remain in Jardim Peri until last year. He could have left for So Paulo as early as 2010 but the society did not volunteer him accommodation, means that he would have had to travel for four hours to get to and from educate, and that would have had a negative impact on his institution work.
Not that Gabriel Jesus paid too much attention to anything apart from football. My whole life has always been football and that simply, he says. Since I was six years old Ive only really was just thinking about football. I used to watch it on TV, participate video games and so on. I merely love football. Some beings joke that I am too into it but football exactly summarize up my life.
His discipline is surprising for such a young age, and “its probably” one of the things that has impressed Pep Guardiola, the manager who was hopeless to introduce him to City. Gabriel Jesus was a hot prospect even before the Olympics and City were able to beat off challenger from Barcelona, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain partly because of a phone call from their brand-new manager.
It was a complicated decision, but in the end my desire to learn triumphed, Gabriel Jesus says. The spirit of Guardiola as a director at City and the facts of the case that it is a great club were very important factors in my final judgment. Guardiolas phone call was a huge part of me deciding to go there. It obligated me realise that Id love to work with him. I dont know him personally yet but he already obliged me feel very safe about his job there.