The brilliant Palmeiras and Brazil forward tells the Guardian about the phone call from Pep Guardiola that persuasion him to assemble 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 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 presidents in January, provides an opportunity to become one of best available forwards in “the worlds” but what represents him stand out even more is his desire to too help out defensively.
It is not a characteristic he shares with too many forwards 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 true-life that my mother has a go at me when I dont track back, he adds 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 accolade. I am really happy to have a mum like that, who really attends. She ever tells me the truth and her candour helps me a lot.
Mrs Vera Lcia is a constant and enormously positive proximity in Gabriel Jesuss life and that is no surprise considering 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 people, he tells. I grew up very rapidly because of certain difficulties and responsibilities that I have always had.
Gabriel Jesus is a very mature 19 -year-old. We match 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 course of its interrogation. He starts by apologising for running late. I had to do the ice bath, he explains.
It has been a tumultuous 18 months for the man from Jardim Peri, a humble region 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 scoring 37 purposes in 22 games in the Paulista Under-1 7 challenger and at the end of the season he was appointed the best beginner of the Brasileiro .
And that was just the beginning. This summer he won Olympic gold with Braziland then prepared his debut for the senior unit, scoring two destinations in a 3-0 away prevail against Ecuador. And he is still a teen. The former Brazil and Real Madrid striker Ronaldo, for one, is a follower: When I ascertain Gabriel I think about my own past. He has a incredible journey ahead, Ronaldo told TV Globo recently.
It is not that long ago Gabriel Jesus was playing for the amateur unit Pequeninos do Meio Ambiente on the lurches of the military prison camp Romo Gomes. He moved on to Anhanguera but, unlike numerous prodigious flairs these days, he did not connect a upper side Palmeiras until persons under the age of 15 so his vocation was very much influenced by street football.
His childhood neighbourhood is always on his head and on his scalp. On his forearm there is a tattoo demo 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 enjoyed working on and thats why I try to give my best tactically as well as moves 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 most important to penetrate the tone 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 gondola. A dark-skinned son cannot drive a nice vehicle in the neighborhood 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 offer him accommodation, means 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 only, he announces. Since I was six years old Ive only really thought about football. I used to watch it on TV, play video games and so on. I merely love football. Some parties joke that I am too into it but football just sums up my life.
His discipline is surprising for the purposes of the a young age, and “its probably” one of the things that has impressed Pep Guardiola, the manager who was desperate to fetch him to City. Gabriel Jesus was a red-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 a phone call from their brand-new manager.
It was a complicated decision, but in the end my desire to learn won, Gabriel Jesus says. The attendance of Guardiola as a manager at City and the fact that it is a great team were very important factors in my final judgment. Guardiolas phone call was a huge part of me deciding to go there. It represented me realise that Id love to work with him. I dont know him personally yet but he already constituted me feel very safe about his project there.