The brilliant Palmeiras and Brazil forwards tells the Guardian about the phone call from Pep Guardiola that reassured him to join 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 mother 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 rulers in January, is an opportunity to become one of best available forwards in “the worlds” but what stirs him stand out even more is his desire to also help out defensively.

It is not a peculiarity he shares with too many forwards but then they are not able to 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 mentions in his first interrogation with non-Brazilian media since signing for City. We are very, very close and she challenges 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, who really attends. She always tells me the truth and her sincerity facilitates me a lot.

Mrs Vera Lcia is a constant and hugely positive attendance in Gabriel Jesuss life and that is no astonish considering his upbringing. The participates papa were killed when Gabriel Jesus was young and his mother elevated 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 musician grows up faster than other beings, he reads. I grew up very quickly because of the difficulties and responsibilities that I have always had.

Gabriel Jesus is a really mature 19 -year-old. We fulfill 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 running late. I had to do the sparkler bathtub, he explains.

It has been a stormy 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 , simply a little bit more peaceful ). In March 2015 he made his debut for Palmeiras after tallying 37 goals in 22 competitions in the Paulista Under-1 7 tournament and at the end of the season he was mentioned best available beginner of the Brasileiro .

And that was just the beginning. This summertime he won Olympic gold with Braziland then moved his debut for the elderly team, scoring two objectives in a 3-0 away win against Ecuador. And he is still a boy. The former Brazil and Real Madrid striker Ronaldo, for one, is a love: When I envision Gabriel I think about my own past. He has a superb journey onward, 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 pitches of the military prison camp Romo Gomes. He moved on to Anhanguera but, unlike numerous colossal aptitudes these days, he did not meet a top side Palmeiras until the age of 15 so his career was very much shaped by street football.

Gabriel Jesus: knowledge, manoeuvres and purposes.

His childhood neighbourhood is always on his knowledge and on his skin. On his forearm there is a tattoo establishing a son with a ball in his hand 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 experienced working on and thats why I try to give my best good tactically as well as move forward. From an early age, in my vrzea periods[ 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 essential to participate 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 pals. When doing so in December he was stopped by the police while driving his expensive automobile. A dark-skinned son cannot drive a neat auto in the neighborhood 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 stayed in Jardim Peri until last year. He could have left for So Paulo as early as 2010 but the squad did not give him accommodation, meaning that he would have had to travel for four hours to get to and from teach, and that would have had a negative impact on his school work.

Not that Gabriel Jesus paid too much attention to anything apart from football. My whole life have traditionally been football and that only, he articulates. Since I was six years old Ive only really was just thinking about football. I used to watch it on TV, gambling video games and so on. I exactly enjoy football. Some people joke that I am too into it but football only summing-up up my life.

His discipline is remarkable for such a young age, and this is probably one of the matters that has impressed Pep Guardiola, the manager who was desperate to accompanied him to City. Gabriel Jesus was a red-hot prospect even before the Olympics and City were able to beat off race 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 involved decision, but in the end my desire to learn prevailed, Gabriel Jesus says. The spirit of Guardiola as a administrator at City and the fact that it is a great squad were very important factors in my final judgment. Guardiolas phone call was a huge part of me deciding to go there. It reached 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 activity there.

Gabriel Jesus, celebrating here after scoring for Palmeiras against Figueirense in June, be available to triumph the Brazilian title before to access to Manchester. Picture: Brazil Photo Press/ CON/ LatinContent/ Getty Images

Where will he play though? City are not exactly lacking in attacking 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 on the left before Cuca, the manager, moved him into the centre with good results: 11 destinations in 18 conference games.

I imagine I will fight for a region as a winger in the team, he reads. I actually favor playing as a left-winger rather than a striker, but I just want to be very clear that Im willing to play in either post. I am often prepared to give up a position high on the slope and help out defensively because some good brand and tackling can result in a goal 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 coating the pavement of his street in light-green and yellow as a devotee. Today he is one of the reference points in onslaught for squad and country. Palmeiras are objection for the designation, they beat Corinthians 2-0 at the weekend to remain top, and Gabriel Jesus desperately wants to leave for Manchester City having won the tournament. At Verdo he is an undisputed idol Glory, beauty, alleluia, is Gabriel Jesus is the psalm that everything fans sing( even if it exasperates his mother, who is a very religious person ).

But even if he includes the Brazilian claim to his Olympic medal, he will not get too carried away. I try to manage my progress in a down-to-earth fashion, he enunciates. Some participates prevail a accolade and think that they are on top of the world. I dont let it go to my intelligence. People idolise me for acquiring the Olympics but I retain replying: It is just a medal.

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


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