MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, May 30 – Gabriel Jesus may be living the high-life after emerging as one of the most exciting young strikers in world football, but the Manchester City star’s humble beginnings are still fresh in the memory.
Standing barefoot on a cobbled street in Sao Paulo, a 17-year-old Jesus was just another youngster dreaming of playing in the yellow shirt of Brazil. He was, like many, preparing for the World Cup to come to his homeland.
In a series of photos posted on his social media account, the diminutive forward revealed he was helping to paint the streets of his neighbourhood in patriotic colours in preparation for the tournament just three years ago.
He would have watched the World Cup play out on television with Brazil making their way to the semi-final before a crushing 7-1 defeat to Germany in Belo Horizonte.
Little would he have guessed that he would be favourite to lead the line when the Selecao have another crack at winning their sixth World Cup in Russia just four years later.
Indeed, so much has changed for Jesus in the time between these photos and the present day. Then, he was just a youth player for local professional side Palmeiras and earning the modest sum of just £3,500 a year.
Soon after, his talents would be recognised and he would be thrusted into the senior squad only for Manchester City’s South American scouting network to take notice and alert a certain Pep Guardiola.
A £27million move to the Etihad was agreed in August 2016 with his move going through the following January. He signed a five-year deal with the Citizens worth £75,000 a week, although his mother recently revealed she still controls his wage and hands him pocket money each month.
It was clear Manchester City had a major star on their hands when Jesus inspired Brazil to the first Olympic gold medal in their history, scoring three goals in six games to help to heal the damage caused by that devastating World Cup defeat.
Now a fully-fledged Brazil international, Jesus has four goals in six caps for Dunga’s Brazil side and will go to the World Cup next summer if he stays fit.
He is also set to push seasoned star Sergio Aguero all the way for a starting spot in Manchester City’s line-up next season.
By Daily Mail