GABRIEL JESUS has shrugged off the second serious injury setback of his short Manchester City career to focus on a personal medal quadruple.
After returning from medial ligament damage to play a part in City’s Carabao Cup victory, the 20-year-old is now just four wins from a Premier League title and three from a Champions League triumph.
He’s also been promised a place in Brazil’s World Cup squad and is likely to spearhead his country’s attack in Russia.
Last season a broken metatarsal restricted Jesus to just 10 Premier League appearances following his transfer from Palmeiras and the recent knee injury cost him another eight weeks of football.
He’d roared to 10 goals in 16 club appearances but his absence means he goes into tomorrow’s fixture at Stoke City having not scored a Premier League goal since late November.
“I have never been injured before I came here,” he says.
“It was the first time, and the second time, so hopefully it will be the first, second and the last!
“Of course, I am really happy to return now, but sad for what I missed in the last months because no player wants to get injured.
“Now I feel really well physically but technically I need to return to the level I was at before my injury.
“However, I just need to play and get more minutes and I will be back at that level.
“It is difficult for all the players who are injured. You want to play, which is the thing you love, but you can’t.
“It is really frustrating. My role became that of just cheering my team-mates and encouraging City to win.
“But it’s part of football and all I can do now is focus on the next few months. Anything can happen and you have to look after yourself.
“I have always set goals in my life. When I realised I was coming to City I knew it was a big club with great players.
“I also knew that it would be about helping them reach the latter rounds of competitions and to then fight for trophies until the end.”
On the international front, Brazil manager Tite announced in February the names of 15 players who are already guaranteed spots in his 23 for Russia.
Jesus was still injured at the time and he admits that his inclusion gave him a big boost.
“I was really happy to be named, especially as I wasn’t playing, but I need to keep working and be focused,” he says.
“Obviously, the manager wants us all to have a good run to the end of the season with our clubs and then to fight for a position in the squad.
“It has always been a dream for me to play for the Brazil national team and now to have the chance to play for them in a World Cup is an additional dream.
“But I am just now focusing on playing well, training well and being the best that I can.”
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