Arsenal star Gabriel Jesus ɾеᴠеаls fascinating story behind phone call goal celebration

Gabriel Jesus went from pitches of mud and dirt to shining at the Etihad and getting ready for his World Cup debut with Brazil next summer. As he puts it: “Water can turn to wine. Don’t ever stop dreaming.”

“I remember when I was playing for Pequeninos, I’d see some of the kids after the match with their fathers, and I was alone. That was heavy for me. It marked me. But now, when someone asks about my father, I say that my mother is my father. She did everything for me and my brothers.” said the Brazilian.

Gabriel Jesus' form at Arsenal can help him banish memories of failure at 2018 World Cup to help Brazil in Qatar | The US Sun

“She was another hero without a cape. So when I score a goal now, even when she’s not in the stadium, I ‘pick up the phone’ and talk to her.”

His mother was a key figure in Jesus succeeding in football, as he recalls: “Football is just like anything in life. It’s not fair. So you still have to find a way, even when it’s not fair.”

He remembers playing for local club Pequeninos at the age of 13, with no prospect of making it to the elite within five years, which is what eventually happened: “The next years of my life were very difficult. In Brazil, if you have dreams of being a professional footballer, you’re usually in a big club’s youth academy by 12 or 13 years old.”

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“But for some reason, things weren’t working out for me. Sao Paulo FC gave me a trial, and they liked me, but then they told me that they couldn’t offer me a bed at the academy. The club was too far away from my home, so if I took the bus there every day, I’d have to drop out of school, and my mother… Well, my mother was definitely not going to accept that. She was all about school.”

“I owe everything to my mom during this period. Because a lot of kids in Brazil, when they’re from humble means, they have to start working in order to help the family. They can’t do football and school and work. So the dream dies for them at that point.”