Brazilian website UOL this weekend features a nice interview with Manchester City star Gabriel Jesus, mostly speaking about the Copa America title.
After an entire World Cup with no goals, the striker had been benched for the national team, giving his centre-forward place to Roberto Firmino.
But during the Copa America, Gabriel Jesus found a place on the right wing, where he played well and, more importantly, could score once again.
“The weight of the goal has complicated me and I accept that, I accept that view. As a supporter, I wouldn’t like at all that a national team’s number nine didn’t score. I didn’t have a good time at work, it happens to everyone,” he told UOL.
Gabriel Jesus talked about the criticism he got at the time, and that’s one of the reasons he doesn’t care about it anymore.
“I’ve read and I’ve followed more… I confess that now I haven’t followed so much criticism that they make about me, because it was very heavy… It was very, dude, today people end up criticising with weight, even the praise has weight. There are people who praise a player who did one or two good games, saying that he is an ace. Others criticise a person who did one or two bad games, saying ‘why do you play football?’
“Many critics do not come to you to put you up. It’s so heavy sometimes to see people criticising, whether famous or journalists; or even fans or friends. Sometimes it seems they don’t want to see the person to evolve personally and professionally, you know?
“I have no hatred. That word doesn’t even exist in my vocabulary. I learned this from my mother and saw life also teach me to be happy and want the good of others. That makes a difference in my life.”
With this new positioning at the national team, Gabriel Jesus has also spoken about his skills a little. Although he used to dribble a lot in Brazil, he says he hasn’t been able to do it in the Premier League, partly because of the refereeing.
“I always had this quality of dribbling, obviously playing in the middle and in the Premier League it gets more difficult. I tried to do that, but it didn’t work. I’d be fouled and it wasn’t a free-kick, so I ended up changing.”
On improving his finishing, he says he has a pretty good example at his own club: “I need to focus more on that. I even take Agüero as an incentive, who sometimes shoots 10 or 11 times in a game. I’ve always had good precision, so I want to be finishing more.”