Only one point away from being Brazilian champion, Palmeiras manager Cuca is in the spotlight. He’s set to end the club’s drought of 22 years without a league title, an achievement which will have a big impact on his career.
Palmeiras have their roots related to Italian immigration in Brazil, so the manager gave an interview to Gazzetta dello Sport’s Extra Time this week.
One of the subjects was the team’s top scorer Gabriel Jesus, who’s set to join Manchester City in January. Cuca has been much asked about the player’s transition to the Premier League.
“He’s not mature for England, but he’s a starter for the national team and will be very important and starter at City,” the manager told Extra Time. “Don’t think that at 19 he’s at his peak, he’ll still improve by 30%-40%.
“In England, it’s more tactical and he’ll learn a lot of things, establishing himself among the 10 best of the world. He’s a youngster with great technique, strength and speed.”
With two fixtures to go, Palmeiras currently have six points more than Santos, so only a draw is needed for them to lift the trophy.
Gabriel Jesus has 12 goals in the competition, a number which could be higher in the case he hadn’t left for Olympics and other games with the national team. It’s still possible he could be the league’s top scorer if he surpasses Fred’s 14 goals.
Pep Guardiola has got himself a gem here, but he’s not the finished article and the move to England will be a big best. But Manchester City, with a manager happy to trust youth and a team with several South Americans already in it, may well be the perfect European destination for him.