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 managers in January, given the opportunity to become one of best available forwards in the world but what does him stand out even more is his desire to also help out defensively.
It is not a peculiarity he shares with too many sends 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-blue 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 demands 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, that actually cautions. She ever tells me the truth and her sincerity helps me a lot.
Mrs Vera Lcia is a constant and enormously positive attendance in Gabriel Jesuss life and that is no surprise pondering his upbringing. The musicians father died when Gabriel Jesus was young and his mother heightened 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 very mature 19 -year-old. We encounter 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 neighbourhood 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 purposes in 22 games in the Paulista Under-1 7 challenger and at the end of the season he was mentioned the best beginner of the Brasileiro .
And that was just the beginning. This summertime he won Olympic gold with Braziland then realized his debut for the senior team, scoring two destinations in a 3-0 away prevail against Ecuador. And he is still a girl. The former Brazil and Real Madrid striker Ronaldo, for one, is a love: When I identify Gabriel I think about my own past. He has a phenomenal excursion ahead, 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 many colossal talents these days, he did not join a upper side Palmeiras until persons under the age of 15 so his profession was very much shaped by street football.
His childhood neighbourhood is always on his subconsciou and on his scalp. On his forearm there is a tattoo testifying a son with a ball in his hands looking at a favela in front of him, daydream 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 daytimes[ 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 essential to recruit the tar 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 gondola. A dark-skinned son cannot drive a nice car in the region 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 stayed in Jardim Peri until last year. He could have left for So Paulo as early as 2010 but the fraternity did not furnish him adaptation, means that he would have had to travel for four hours to get to and from exercise, 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 traditionally been football and that only, he says. Since I was six years old Ive only really was just thinking about football. I used to watch it on TV, performance video games and so on. I simply adore football. Some beings joke that I am too into it but football merely 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 hopeless to fetch 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 a phone call from their brand-new manager.
It was a involved decision, but in the end my desire to learn won, Gabriel Jesus says. The proximity of Guardiola as a manager at City and the facts of the case that it is a great team 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 attained me feel very safe about his campaign there.