The brilliant Palmeiras and Brazil forward tells the Guardian about the phone call from Pep Guardiola that convinced 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 mom 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, given the opportunity to become one of best available forwards in the world but what acquires him stand out even more is his desire to likewise help out defensively.

It is not a peculiarity he shares with too many sends but then they may not get a rollocking from their mom if they do not help out at the back. Gabriel Jesus does. Yes, its true-life that my mother has a go at me when I dont track back, he says 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 kudo. I am really happy to have a mum like that, that actually attentions. She always tells me the truth and her sincerity helps me a lot.

Mrs Vera Lcia is a constant and tremendously positive presence in Gabriel Jesuss life and that is no surprise holding his upbringing. The musicians papa were killed when Gabriel Jesus was young and his mother developed 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 musician grows up faster than other people, he says. 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 match 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 ice soak, he explains.

It has been a stormy 18 months for the man from Jardim Peri, a humble locality 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 objectives in 22 games in the Paulista Under-1 7 challenger and at the end of the season he was named the best newcomer of the Brasileiro .

And that was just the beginning. This summer he won Olympic gold with Braziland then reached his debut for the senior unit, scoring two purposes in a 3-0 away win against Ecuador. And he is still a girl. The former Brazil and Real Madrid striker Ronaldo, for one, is a love: When I consider Gabriel I think about my own past. He has a magnificent wander 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 tones of the military prison camp Romo Gomes. He moved on to Anhanguera but, unlike numerous colossal endowments these days, he did not connect a upper side Palmeiras until persons under the age of 15 so his busines was very much determined by street football.

Gabriel Jesus: sciences, stunts and objectives.

His childhood neighbourhood is always on his thinker and on his scalp. On his forearm there is a tattoo testifying a boy with a ball in his hands 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 tutors I had. I am the same today. After all, it is very important to enroll the pitching knowing what I have to do to help the team.

He no longer was living 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 boy cannot drive a neat gondola in the neighbourhood where he grew up without being stopped by the police. Everyone knows how hard it is to be pitch-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 organization did not offer him adaptation, meaning that he would have had to travel for four hours to get to and from training, 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 exclusively, he says. Since I was six years old Ive only really thought about football. I used to watch it on Tv, participate video games and so on. I simply affection football. Some beings joke that I am too into it but football precisely sums up my life.

His discipline is remarkable for such a young age, and “its probably” one of the points that has impressed Pep Guardiola, the manager who was hopeless to produce him to City. Gabriel Jesus was a 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 complicated decision, but in the end my desire to learn acquired, Gabriel Jesus says. The proximity of Guardiola as a administrator at City and the fact that it is a great association were very important factors in my final decision. Guardiolas phone call was a huge part of me deciding to go there. It did me realise that Id love to work with him. I dont know him personally hitherto but he already obligated me feel very safe about his job there.

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

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

I belief I will fight for a plaza as a winger in the team, he says. I actually opt playing as a left-winger rather than a striker, but I simply want to be very clear that Im willing to play in either rank. I am often prepared to give up a position high on the tar and help out defensively because some good distinguish and undertaking can result in a destination 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 painting the pavement of his street in green and yellow as a devotee. Today he is one of the reference points in attempt for fraternity and country. Palmeiras are challenging for the entitle, they pulsate Corinthians 2-0 at the weekend to abide top, and Gabriel Jesus urgently wants to leave for Manchester City having won the league. At Verdo he is an undisputed idol Glory, immortality, alleluia, is Gabriel Jesus is the song that all fans sing( even if it displeases his mother, who is a very religious person ).

But even if he lends the Brazilian deed to his Olympic medal, he will not get too carried away. I try to manage my progress in a down-to-earth pattern, he says. Some actors win a award and think that they are on top of the world. I dont let it go to my thought. Parties idolise me for acquiring the Olympics but I continue saying: 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 says. My life has always been full of challenges. Plainly this is a bigger one, but best available duels are given to the best fighters. I will listen to the managers sentiment and his advice in order to improve and adapt as fast as I possibly can.

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