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.
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.