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 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 leads in January, has the potential to become one of the best sends in the world but what stirs him stand out even more is his desire to too help out defensively.
It is not a characteristic he shares with too many forwards but then they may not get a rollocking from their father 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 interrogation with non-Brazilian media since signing for City. We are very, very close and she necessitates 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, who really attends. She ever tells me the truth and her honesty helps me a lot.
Mrs Vera Lcia is a constant and hugely positive proximity in Gabriel Jesuss life and that is no surprise pondering his upbringing. The actors papa were killed when Gabriel Jesus was young and his mother raised him and his three brothers on her own. She was a cleaner back then and there was not a lot of coin around. A football player grows up faster than other beings, 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 respectful and humble. He does not wear sunglasses or headphones and does not play with his mobile during the interrogation. He starts by apologising for running late. I had to do the ice tub, he explains.
It has been a tumultuous 18 months for “the mens” from Jardim Peri, a humble region 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 scoring 37 points in 22 activities in the Paulista Under-1 7 tournament and at the end of the season he was reputation best available newcomer of the Brasileiro .
And that was just the beginning. This summer he won Olympic gold with Braziland then induced his debut for the senior team, tallying two goals in a 3-0 away acquire against Ecuador. And he is still a girl. The former Brazil and Real Madrid striker Ronaldo, for one, is a love: When I experience Gabriel I think about my own past. He has a magnificent outing 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 slopes of the military prison camp Romo Gomes. He moved on to Anhanguera but, unlike numerous colossal expertises these days, he did not meet a top side Palmeiras until persons under the age of 15 so his career was very much determined by street football.
His childhood neighbourhood is always on his subconsciou and on his scalp. On his forearm there is a tattoo demonstrating a son 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 experienced 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 days[ a special type of Brazilian street football ], I tried to take in all the instructions of all the coach-and-fours I had. I am the same today. After all, it is very important to enter 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 acquaintances. When doing so in December he was stopped by the police while driving his expensive car. A dark-skinned son cannot drive a nice vehicle in the region 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 society did not furnish 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 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, participate video games and so on. I simply affection football. Some beings joke that I am too into it but football merely summing-up up my life.
His discipline is surprising for such a young age, and this is probably one of the points that has impressed Pep Guardiola, the manager who was desperate to accompanied him to City. Gabriel Jesus was a hot prospect even before the Olympics and City were able to beat off contender 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 manager at City and the fact that it is a great society were very important factors in my final decision. Guardiolas phone call was a huge part of me deciding to go there. It attained me realise that Id love to work with him. I dont know him personally yet but he already built me feel very safe about his projection there.