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 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 chairmen in January, given the opportunity to become one of best available sends in the world but what constructs him stand out even more is his desire to too help out defensively.

It is not a attribute he shares with too many sends but then they may not get a rollocking from their mother if they do not is to assist at the back. Gabriel Jesus does. Yes, its true-blue 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 asks a lot from me, which is great. She only praises me if I have done something worthy of praise. I am really happy to have a mum like that, that actually maintenances. She ever tells me the truth and her honesty facilitates me a lot.

Mrs Vera Lcia is a constant and enormously positive existence in Gabriel Jesuss life and that is no surprise debating his upbringing. The players father were killed when Gabriel Jesus was young and his mother developed him and his three friends 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 parties, 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 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 ice soap, he explains.

It has been a stormy 18 months for “the mens” from Jardim Peri, a humble community 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 purposes in 22 plays in the Paulista Under-1 7 rivalry and at the end of the season he was reputation the best beginner of the Brasileiro .

And that was just the beginning. This summer he won Olympic gold with Braziland then drew his debut for the elderly team, tallying two objectives in a 3-0 away prevail against Ecuador. And he is still a adolescent. The former Brazil and Real Madrid striker Ronaldo, for one, is a follower: When I recognize Gabriel I think about my own past. He has a awesome pilgrimage onward, Ronaldo told TV Globo recently.

It is not that long ago Gabriel Jesus was playing for the amateur squad Pequeninos do Meio Ambiente on the tones of the military prison camp Romo Gomes. He moved on to Anhanguera but, unlike many colossal abilities these days, he did not meet a top side Palmeiras until persons under the age of 15 so his busines was very much determined by street football.

Gabriel Jesus: abilities, ruses and purposes.

His childhood neighbourhood is always on his psyche and on his surface. On his forearm there is a tattoo showing a son with a ball in his hand 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 acquaintance Neymar has.

I have always experienced working on and thats why I try to give my best tactically as well as moving 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 coaches I had. I am the same today. After all, it is very important to participate the slope knowing what I have to do to help the team.

He no longer was living in Jardim Peri but goes back to visit sidekicks. When doing so in December he was stopped by the police while driving his expensive automobile. A dark-skinned boy cannot drive a nice car 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 give him adaptation, means that he would have had to travel for four hours to get to and from discipline, 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 traditionally 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, romp video games and so on. I only enjoy football. Some beings joke that I am too into it but football simply sums up my life.

His discipline is remarkable for the purposes of the a young age, and “its probably” one of the points that has impressed Pep Guardiola, the manager who was desperate to bring 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 new manager.

It was a complicated decision, but in the end my desire to learn triumphed, Gabriel Jesus says. The attendance of Guardiola as a administrator at City and the fact that it is a great organization were very important factors in my final decision. Guardiolas phone call was a huge part of me deciding to go there. It saw me realise that Id love to work with him. I dont know him personally yet but he already acquired me feel very safe about his activity there.

Gabriel Jesus, celebrating here after scoring for Palmeiras against Figueirense in June, hopes to win the Brazilian entitle before to access to Manchester. Image: Brazil Photo Press/ CON/ LatinContent/ Getty Images

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

I see I will fight for a place as a winger in the team, he says. I actually prefer playing as a left-winger rather than a striker, but I merely want to be very clear that Im willing to play in either situation. I am often prepared to give up a position high on the pitch and help out defensively because some good tag and attacking can result in a purpose for my team in the end. Id like to think that Im a versatile player.

Only two years ago, during the course of its World cup finals, Gabriel Jesus was decorating the pavement of his street in green and yellowed as a devotee. Today he is one of the reference points in assault for club and country. Palmeiras are defying for the title, they drum 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, glorification, alleluia, is Gabriel Jesus is the song that everything fans sing( even if it annoys his mother, who is a very religious person ).

But even if he adds the Brazilian title to his Olympic medal, he will not get too carried away. I try to manage my progress in a down-to-earth mode, he says. Some actors triumph a trophy and think that they are on top of the world. I dont let it go to my pate. Parties idolise me for prevailing the Olympics but I obstruct saying: It is just a medal.

Arguably the biggest challenge lies ahead forcing his method into Citys starting XI. All this change does not scare me at all, he says. My life has always been full of challenges. Undoubtedly this is a bigger one, but best available battles are given to the best fighters. I will listen to the managers belief and his advice in order to improve and adapt as fast as I perhaps can.


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