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 father 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 captains in January, provides an opportunity to become one of the best forwards in “the worlds” but what reaches him stand out even more is his desire to likewise help out defensively.

It is not a characteristic he shares with too many sends but then they are not able to get a rollocking from their mom if they do not help out at the back. Gabriel Jesus does. Yes, its genuine that my mother has a go at me when I dont track back, he tells in his first interview with non-Brazilian media since signing for City. We are very, very close and she asks a lot from me, which is great. She only praises me if I have done something worthy of adoration. I am really happy to have a mum like that, who really cares. She ever tells me the truth and her seriousnes facilitates me a lot.

Mrs Vera Lcia is a constant and enormously positive existence in Gabriel Jesuss life and that is no surprise considering his upbringing. The participates papa died when Gabriel Jesus was young and his mother grew 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 player grows up faster than other beings, he tells. I grew up very quickly because of the difficulties and responsibilities that I have always had.

Gabriel Jesus is a very mature 19 -year-old. We convene 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 frost tub, he explains.

It has been a hectic 18 months for the man from Jardim Peri, a humble community on the outskirts of So Paulo( it is a comunidade , a kind of favela , merely a little bit more peaceful ). In March 2015 he made his debut for Palmeiras after scoring 37 points in 22 recreations in the Paulista Under-1 7 competitor and at the end of the season he was identified the best beginner of the Brasileiro .

And that was just the beginning. This summer he won Olympic gold with Braziland then reached his debut for the elderly team, scoring two goals in a 3-0 away triumph against Ecuador. And he is still a teen. The former Brazil and Real Madrid striker Ronaldo, for one, is a fan: When I realize Gabriel I think about my own past. He has a fantastic journeying ahead, Ronaldo told TV Globo recently.

It is not that long ago Gabriel Jesus was playing for the amateur unit Pequeninos do Meio Ambiente on the tars of the military prison camp Romo Gomes. He moved on to Anhanguera but, unlike numerous colossal flairs these days, he did not join a upper side Palmeiras until persons under the age of 15 so his occupation was very much shaped by street football.

Gabriel Jesus: skills, gimmicks and destinations.

His childhood neighbourhood is always on his imagination and on his scalp. On his forearm there is a tattoo evidencing a boy with a ball in his hands looking at a favela in front of him, fantasy of a better future in football. The tattoo is almost identical to the one that his acquaintance 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 coaches I had. I am the same today. After all, it is very important to recruit the slope knowing what I have to do to help the team.

He no longer lives in Jardim Peri but goes back to visit friends. When doing so in December he was stopped by the police while driving his expensive car. A dark-skinned son cannot drive a nice gondola in the neighbourhood 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 remain in Jardim Peri until last year. He could have left for So Paulo as early as 2010 but the golf-club did not render him accommodation, means that he would have had to travel for four hours to get to and from civilize, 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, play-act video games and so on. I just desire football. Some parties joke that I am too into it but football exactly summing-up 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 desperate to create him to City. Gabriel Jesus was a 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 won, Gabriel Jesus says. The presence of Guardiola as a administrator at City and the fact that it is a great team were very important factors in my final judgment. Guardiolas phone call was a huge part of me deciding to go there. It established me realise that Id love to work with him. I dont know him personally hitherto but he already stimulated me feel very safe about his programme there.

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

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

I feel I will fight for a lieu as a winger in the team, he remarks. I actually opt playing as a left-winger rather than a striker, but I only want to be very clear that Im willing to play in either standing. I am often prepared to give up a position high on the pitch and help out defensively because some good label and undertaking can cause a aim for my unit in the end. Id like to think that Im a versatile player.

Only two years ago, during the World Cup, Gabriel Jesus was covering the pavement of his street in dark-green and yellow as a devotee. Today he is one of the reference points in assault for golf-club and country. Palmeiras are objection for the deed, they trounce Corinthians 2-0 at the weekend to stay top, and Gabriel Jesus urgently wants to leave for Manchester City having won the tournament. At Verdo he is an undisputed idol Glory, immortality, alleluia, is Gabriel Jesus is the song that everything followers sing( even if it annoys his mother, who is a very religious person ).

But even if he includes the Brazilian entitlement to his Olympic medal, he will not get too carried away. I try to manage my the advances in a down-to-earth way, he pronounces. Some actors acquire a accolade and think that they are on top of “the worlds”. I dont let it go to my heading. Beings idolise me for prevailing the Olympics but I deter alleging: It is just a medal.

Arguably the biggest challenge lies ahead forcing his style into Citys starting XI. All this change does not “re scared” at all, he tells. My life has always been full of challenges. Undoubtedly this is a bigger one, but best available duels are given to the best warriors. I will listen to the managers ruling and his advice in order to improve and adapt as fast as I perhaps can.

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