Gabriel Jesus Explains Meteoric Rise
In an absorbing interview with the Players Tribune, Gabriel Jesus describes how he got his chance in football aged 15, after unsuccessful attempts to get into the São Paulo academy.
Jesus could not join São Paulo because the club were based too far away from his school. But he got his shot with Palmeiras aged 15- and the rest is history.
“I got the opportunity to try out for Palmeiras when I was 15, and everything just took off from there. I can’t explain it. It felt like destiny, in a way. God wrote everything perfectly. I stayed on with the youth team, and I got to sign my first actual contract.
“From there, it was like a rocket ship. I got into the first-team, and I did really well, and then I got called up for Brazil at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. When I got the call, it was an overwhelming emotion.
To make you understand that moment for me only two years before that, I was on the streets of Peri painting the curbs yellow and green for the 2014 World Cup. The guys from the neighborhood who could draw really well would outline the big murals on the walls — with the faces of the Brazilian players like David Luiz and Neymar.
“Two years later, I was playing in the Olympics with Neymar. I can remember the feeling of putting on the yellow national team shirt for the first time. It was the feeling of conquering your dreams.”