The brilliant Palmeiras and Brazil forward tells the Guardian about the phone call from Pep Guardiola that persuaded him to assemble Manchester City and that his mum is never pleased with him unless he facilitates 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 commanders in January, has the potential to become one of best available forwards in the world but what stirs him stand out even more is his desire to also help out defensively.
It is not a characteristic he shares with too many forwards but then they are not able to get a rollocking from their mom if they do not help out 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 kudo. I am really happy to have a mum like that, who really charges. She ever tells me the truth and her franknes helps me a lot.
Mrs Vera Lcia is a constant and tremendously positive spirit in Gabriel Jesuss life and that is no surprise considering his upbringing. The musicians parent died 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 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 very mature 19 -year-old. We convene 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 interrogation. He starts by apologising for running late. I had to do the frost tub, he explains.
It has been a hectic 18 months for “the mens” from Jardim Peri, a humble neighborhood 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 objectives in 22 games in the Paulista Under-1 7 rival and at the end of the season he was named the best newcomer of the Brasileiro .
And that was just the beginning. This summertime he won Olympic gold with Braziland then attained his debut for the elderly squad, scoring two objectives in a 3-0 away win against Ecuador. And he is still a teen. 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 terrific journey 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 lurches of the military prison camp Romo Gomes. He moved on to Anhanguera but, unlike numerous prodigious endowments these days, he did not assemble a upper side Palmeiras until persons under the age of 15 so his occupation was very much determined by street football.
His childhood neighbourhood is always on his mind and on his skin. On his forearm there is a tattoo evidencing a boy with a ball in his hand 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 pal Neymar has.
I have always experienced working hard and thats why I try to give my best tactically as well as moving forward. From an early age, in my vrzea eras[ 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 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 pals. When doing so in December he was stopped by the police while driving his expensive gondola. A dark-skinned son cannot drive a neat vehicle in the vicinity 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 guild did not offer him accommodation, meaning that he would have had to travel for four hours to get to and from develop, 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 always been football and that exclusively, he says. Since I was six years old Ive only really was just thinking about football. I used to watch it on TV, play video games and so on. I simply love football. Some parties joke that I am too into it but football exactly summing-up up my life.
His discipline is remarkable for the purposes of the a young age, and this is probably one of the things that has impressed Pep Guardiola, the manager who was desperate to return him to City. Gabriel Jesus was a hot prospect even before the Olympics and City were able to beat off rival from Barcelona, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain partly because of telephone calls from their new manager.
It was a involved decision, but in the end my desire to learn acquired, Gabriel Jesus says. The existence of Guardiola as a administrator at City and the fact that it is a great guild were very important factors in my final judgment. 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 hitherto but he already obliged me feel very safe about his assignment there.