The brilliant Palmeiras and Brazil forwards tells the Guardian about the phone call from Pep Guardiola that convinced him to join 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 father 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 presidents in January, given the opportunity to become one of the best forwards in the world but what forms him stand out even more is his desire to too help out defensively.

It is not a trait he shares with too many forwards but then they may not get a rollocking from their baby if they do not is to assist 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 interview 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 praise. I am really happy to have a mum like that, that actually maintenances. She ever tells me the truth and her franknes facilitates me a lot.

Mrs Vera Lcia is a constant and immensely positive attendance in Gabriel Jesuss life and that is no surprise deeming his upbringing. The actors papa were killed when Gabriel Jesus was young and his mother created 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 participate 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 very mature 19 -year-old. We meet 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 interview. He starts by apologising for running late. I had to do the frost bathtub, he explains.

It has been a stormy 18 months for “the mens” from Jardim Peri, a humble locality on the outskirts of So Paulo( it is a comunidade , a kind of favela , only a little bit more peaceful ). In March 2015 he made his debut for Palmeiras after scoring 37 points in 22 recreations in the Paulista Under-1 7 competition and at the end of the season he was referred the best newcomer of the Brasileiro .

And that was just the beginning. This summertime he won Olympic gold with Braziland then constructed his debut for the senior unit, scoring two purposes in a 3-0 away acquire against Ecuador. And he is still a teenager. The former Brazil and Real Madrid striker Ronaldo, for one, is a fan: When I watch Gabriel I think about my own past. He has a magnificent travel 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 slopes of the military prison camp Romo Gomes. He moved on to Anhanguera but, unlike numerous prodigious talents these days, he did not assemble a upper side Palmeiras until persons under the age of 15 so his occupation was very much shaped by street football.

Gabriel Jesus: abilities, gimmicks and objectives.

His childhood neighbourhood is always on his brain and on his surface. On his forearm there is a tattoo picturing 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 sidekick Neymar has.

I have always enjoyed 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 periods[ 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 essential to penetrate the pitch 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 auto. A dark-skinned son cannot drive a neat auto in the neighbourhood 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 stayed in Jardim Peri until last year. He could have left for So Paulo as early as 2010 but the society did not volunteer him adaptation, means 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 academy work.

Not that Gabriel Jesus paid too much attention to anything apart from football. My whole life has traditionally been football and that simply, 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 merely adore football. Some parties joke that I am too into it but football just summing-up up my life.

His discipline is surprising 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 frantic to draw him to City. Gabriel Jesus was a hot prospect even before the Olympics and City were able to beat off tournament 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 acquired, Gabriel Jesus says. The spirit of Guardiola as a manager at City and the fact that it is a great sorority were very important factors in my final judgment. Guardiolas phone call was a huge part of me deciding to go there. It obliged me realise that Id love to work with him. I dont know him personally yet but he already reached me feel very safe about his project there.

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

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

I contemplate I will fight for a region as a winger in the team, he says. I actually prefer playing as a left-winger rather than a striker, but I only want to be very clear that Im willing to play in either statu. I am often prepared to give up a position high on the tone and help out defensively because some good marker and attacking can result in a point 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, Gabriel Jesus was covering the sidewalk of his street in light-green and yellow as a love. Today he is one of the reference points in assault for guild and country. Palmeiras are challenging for the title, they drum Corinthians 2-0 at the weekend to bide top, and Gabriel Jesus desperately wants to leave for Manchester City having won the league. At Verdo he is an undisputed idol Glory, exaltation, alleluia, is Gabriel Jesus is the song that all devotees sing( even if it annoys his mother, who is a very religious person ).

But even if he contributes the Brazilian designation to his Olympic medal, he will not get too carried away. I try to manage my the advances in a down-to-earth manner, he says. Some players triumph a award and think that they are on top of the world. I dont let it go to my psyche. Parties idolise me for acquiring the Olympics but I maintain saying: It is just a medal.

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

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