New Manchester City signing Gabriel Jesus unfazed by Premier League challenge
GABRIEL JESUS says he is not scared of the life-changing challenge facing him at Manchester City.
The Brazilian wonderboy has completed a classic rags to riches story by moving to the Etihad.
And he has vowed to seize the opportunity to set himself and his family up for life.
Several Brazilian stars – Robinho, Elano and Jo Silva among them – have failed to last the course with Manchester City in recent years.
But 19-year-old Jesus, dubbed the new Neymar and voted Brazil's player of the year in 2016, is determined not to fail even though he acknowledges it ill be tough to adapt to the physical intensity of the Premier League.
“I’ve watched it and I notice it’s a very hard, intense style of play,” he said after the paper work red tape was cleared for him to finally complete his £27m move from Palmeiras.
“I hope to adapt as quickly as possible. I’m going to try to take it all in and adapt. I know it isn’t going to be easy, but it only depends on me to put in the effort to adapt.
Gabriel Jesus is not concerned by the pressure of playing in the Premier League
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“I can’t feel scared, being given an opportunity like this to change my life. There are more challenges and opportunities to change the lives of my family members, to give them opportunities, so I can’t be scared of anything.”
Jesus says he rejected interest from most of Europe’s top clubs in order to join City because of Pep Guardiola, a manager he believes can take his career to the next level. He says he shares the Spaniard's “24/7” passion for the game.
“Pep was the only manager who called me so I was very pleased,” he said. “He said he’d really like me to come, that I’d help the club a lot, help my team mates. I was very pleased and from the point I chose Manchester. I got it into my head that I was coming here to help and learn a lot.
“One thing I’ve noticed is that, like me, he’s mad about football. He lives football 24 hours a day. I’m like that too. When I’m not playing, I’m watching, or playing a video game, doing something linked to football. I think this is very important, that I’m the same as him and I hope to learn.
“Given the manager he is and everything he’s done, his intelligence, my desire is to work with him and learn more from him every day, as well as from the other players in the squad was an important factor in my decision.
Gabriel Jesus has been compared to Neymar
“I want to win titles and Manchester City is a club that is used to winning. Apart from the size of the club, which is massive, with a long history, it’s a club that always competes for the titles in the competitions it enters. “
City sealed the deal for Jesus last August after he had helped Brazil to win the fooball gold medal in the Olympics. But he was loaned back to Palmeiras because he wanted to complete the season by helping them to the title and repay the faith they had shown in him.
“People ask me why I only chose to come after 2016 and why I didn’t come halfway through the season,” he added. “I made it clear that I wanted to stay until the end of the year at Palmeiras because I wanted to win another championship, to help Palmeiras.
“It’s a club where I learned so much, so I wanted to win. We were champions, I left there with my head held high and highly satisfied with our performance during the championship.”
Jesus will not be short of compatriots as City because Brazilian midifelders Fernandinho and Fernando are already at the Etihad. And he revealed that a phone call from Fernandinho helped convince him City was the right move.
Fernandinho persuaded Gabriel Jesus to join Manchester City
“Yes, I spoke to him, before signing,” he said. “He called me and we had a good chat. I liked what he told me about the city, about the club, the professionals who work here, the people, so I was very happy.
“That’s when I began to decide to come here. I was very comfortable with everything he told me and shortly after we met up with the national team and we talked. I’d already signed for City and I asked him everything, about cars, housing, everything, and he explained everything to me. He’s someone who is very important to my arrival at City.”
Jesus, who has been training with City for the last two weeks, is set to make his debut against Tottenham on Saturday as Guardiola’s team attempt to put their title challenge back on track following their 4-0 drubbing at Everton.
He will wear the No 33 shirt out of personal choice.
“It’s the number I’ve been wearing since I turned professional. It’s a number I ended up with and I really liked. I intend to wear it for many years. I asked if the number 33 was available, they said yes, and so I chose it.
“My dream in a City shirt is to win titles, to be happy and to make all Manchester City’s fans happy too. I’ve come here to help and to win titles.”
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