The brilliant Palmeiras and Brazil forwards tells the Guardian about the phone call from Pep Guardiola that reassured 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 baby 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 sends in the world but what builds him stand out even more is his desire to also help out defensively.
It is not a idiosyncrasy 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 genuine 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 challenges 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 attends. She always tells me the truth and her sincerity helps me a lot.
Mrs Vera Lcia is a constant and enormously positive proximity in Gabriel Jesuss life and that is no surprise holding his upbringing. The players father were killed when Gabriel Jesus was young and his mother promoted 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 very mature 19 -year-old. We convene 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 being late. I had to do the sparkler soap, he explains.
It has been a tumultuous 18 months for “the mens” from Jardim Peri, a humble vicinity 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 purposes in 22 competitions in the Paulista Under-1 7 challenger and at the end of the season he was appointed the best newcomer of the Brasileiro .
And that was just the beginning. This summertime he won Olympic gold with Braziland then formed his debut for the elderly squad, tallying two objectives in a 3-0 away win against Ecuador. And he is still a adolescent. The former Brazil and Real Madrid striker Ronaldo, for one, is a devotee: When I ensure Gabriel I think about my own past. He has a magnificent passage onward, Ronaldo told TV Globo recently.
It is not that long ago Gabriel Jesus was playing for the amateur crew Pequeninos do Meio Ambiente on the tones of the military prison camp Romo Gomes. He moved on to Anhanguera but, unlike many staggering endowments these days, he did not join a top 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 thought and on his surface. On his forearm there is a tattoo demo a boy 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 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 register the pitching knowing what I have to do to help the team.
He no longer lives in Jardim Peri but goes back to visit sidekicks. When doing so in December he was stopped by the police while driving his expensive vehicle. A dark-skinned son cannot drive a neat car in the neighborhood where he grew up without being stopped by the police. Everyone knows how hard it is to be pitch-black in our 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 sorority did not render him adaptation, meaning that he would have had to travel for four hours to get to and from improve, 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 only, he says. Since I was six years old Ive only really thought about football. I used to watch it on Tv, performance video games and so on. I exactly love football. Some people joke that I am too into it but football simply summarize up my life.
His discipline is surprising for such a young age, and this is probably one of the things that has impressed Pep Guardiola, the manager who was desperate to raise him to City. Gabriel Jesus was a hot prospect even before the Olympics and City were able to beat off competitor from Barcelona, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain partly because of telephone calls from their brand-new manager.
It was a complicated decision, but in the end my desire to learn prevailed, Gabriel Jesus says. The attendance of Guardiola as a manager at City and the facts of the case that it is a great society were very important factors in my final judgment. Guardiolas phone call was a huge part of me deciding to go there. It shaped me realise that Id love to work with him. I dont know him personally hitherto but he already saw me feel very safe about his programme there.