Back at his childhood club Corinthians, Jô is living some very good form in 2017. The striker has scored 11 goals so far this season, and helped his club to the top of the table.
Celebrating this good stage in his life, after he quit the partying and booze to dedicate himself to religion and football, the former Manchester City player was interviewed by ESPN Brasil and recalled his entire career.
Jô left Corinthians at the age of 19 to join CSKA Moscow, and then was signed by Manchester City as one of the first players who would build a stronger squad at the club.
Speaking to ESPN, he’s revealed that they first tried to sign him in January 2008, but failed, and only managed to get him at the second attempt.
“Manchester City came with a bid of €20m. Even so, the president held me. I had been scoring many goals, and we had just won the Russian cup. In July, City came with another offer, this time €24m, and then finally the president decided to sell me.”
“I came in when a Thai was the owner of City and Eriksson had just left, the guy who had asked for my signing, but it was still a dream for me to play in the Premier League. Manchester City was still an average club at the time, but evolving.
“It was all very new. I arrived as the most expensive player in the club’s history. Then Robinho, Wright-Phillips came, and the team grew. The adaptation was very difficult. I came from a Russian championship in which CSKA were the best by far, to the most difficult and most disputed championship in the world.”
But Jõ spent only half a season at the club and was sent on loan to Everton, where he stayed for a year and made a good impact.
“It was at Everton that I really started playing in England. Our team was very good, I played with Arteta, Saha, Pienaar, it was a very good squad. This year there made me evolve a lot. We finished qualified for the Europa League.”
However, he fell out with David Moyes, and had his spell cut short in January 2010, having to spend the rest of the season at Galatasaray.
“I had four good months in Istanbul, but I really wanted to go back to England and show my value to Manchester City. They accepted, and when I came back the reality was different! It was on another level. There was Yaya Toure, David Silva, many great players. This time I took hold of it, I got to play, I scored goals and we won the FA Cup.
“That group was pretty cool, De Jong was the most outgoing, the most playful, always excited. Adebayor was another who had incredible, contagious joy.
“We used to dance and they always asked me to teach something different, especially things from Brazil. There was always dance before and after training, talking and listening to music.
“I put the songs on in the dressing room one day and De Jong always saw me dancing and listening to these funks alone. Then he liked the rhythm, listened to the end and told me: ‘Jô, if we are the FA Cup champions, this one will make the title party.’
“We won the game at Wembley and I kept the promise. We celebrated a lot, and I put everyone to dance, even the Englishmen (laughs). Even Micah Richards and Joe Hart did the little bit I taught (laughs). The video was very funny, it broke out on the internet.”
Speaking of the tough defenders he had to face in England, Jô mentioned a few of them: “Rio Ferdinand was fantastic in the positioning, and also had a lot of strength. Vidic also had an unusual desire, we usually ended the game with a bruised shin. It was always difficult to face guys like that.”
“In Robinho’s debut against Portsmouth in 2008 I scored my first goal with Manchester City’s shirt, but this game had a really funny story before.
“We were positioned in the tunnel and their defence was Sylvain Distin and Sol Campbell, one of the midfielders was Bouba Diop, and there was Peter Crouch in the attack. It was almost a team only of giants.
“Then Robinho looked at the guys and said to me, ‘F***, Jô, are we going to play rugby? Look at the size of the guys’ (laughs). I just replied: ‘Yes, Robinho, welcome to the English League.”