With the 2018 FIFA World Cup in full force, Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus is hoping to make his mark this summer at the Beautiful Game’s biggest tournament. Regarded as one of the top players to look out for during the month long event, Jesus is aiming to bring back the Championship title to his vibrant home nation after a 16-year long wait.
Before exploding onto the football scene with the Pep Guardiola-helmed Manchester City, Jesus grew up on the dangerous streets of Jardim Peri, a favela located in the northern part of São Paulo. Starting out from very humble beginnings, Jesus wasn’t privileged enough to join the pampered youth academy systems; instead he began his football career playing with Clube Pequeninos, meaning “Little Ones,” outside a military prison.
With only football on his mind, Jesus’ shot into stardom wouldn’t have been without his single mother, brothers, and childhood football coach José Francisco Mamede, who all nourished the passion burning within him. Shortly after being picked up professionally by Palmeiras, Jesus made the transition to Manchester City, proving himself to be one of the best players in modern Premier League era.
Though his close family and friends tribute some of his success to luck, it was Jesus’s discipline and determination that has pushed him into the international spotlight. From playing in dirt pitches to becoming part of the tantalizing front lines of Brazil’s national team alongside Neymar Jr., all eyes will be watching to see if Jesus can live up to being the World’s next biggest footballing legend.
For the final chapter of our Destined series, we take a look back at Jesus’ humble beginnings as he prepares for his first ever World Cup appearance, featuring interviews from his brother, Caique, and his childhood coach, José Francisco Mamede.