Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 15 December 2019

Gabriel Jesus: Liverpool are not Premier League champions yet

Manchester City striker, speaking from Brazil's training session in Abu Dhabi, insists the English title race will go down to the wire

Brazil and Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus predicts the Premier League will not be decided until the last few games, even though Liverpool currently hold a commanding lead at the top.

Liverpool are now eight points clear of both Leicester City and Chelsea, and nine ahead of defending champions City after 12 games.

The Merseysiders ran out 3-1 winners against Pep Guardiola's side on Sunday, putting them in pole position to end their 30-year quest to win the title.

But despite the disappointment of their defeat at Anfield still being so raw, Jesus insists all is not lost.

“There are 26 matches left and that’s a long way out even to think who will win the Premier League,” the 22-year-old said before joining Brazil’s training session at the Al Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

“Liverpool are playing really well. They were beaten only once last season but we will take them on and keep fighting for the title again.

“We will try to do our maximum and we will recover. We know we have the capacity to do this. Obviously, we want to win the championship.”

Jesus revealed he has learnt a few things to improve his own games under Guardiola. “He’s a manager who always try to get the best from every player. My job as a forward is to score but he’s taught me how to relax my mind to think what I got to do when playing.

“He’s taught me how and when to select my best moments on the pitch, like how and when to pass, when to dribble or shoot. I learnt from him to wait for the right moments on the pitch.”

Jesus is in the Brazil squad preparing to play arch rivals Argentina in a friendly in Saudi Arabia on Friday and another against South Korea at the Mohamed bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

“It’s always good to play a derby, especially against Argentina. For me, it’s the biggest derby in the world,” Jesus said.

“It’s a special moment for me because playing for Brazil against the biggest rival is a great opportunity. It’s not only for me but everyone in the team, to put all the efforts to win this match.”

Jesus, 22, has earned 37 international caps for Brazil since his debut in September 2016, scoring 18 goals. He has an Olympic gold at Rio 2016 and a member of the 2018 World Cup, but wants more.

“Yes, I want to play in another World Cup and not only that, but want to be a World Cup winner,” he said when asked of his ambitions to play in Qatar 2022.

“I always dream of playing in the next World Cup but there are also several others who want to make it to the squad. Things are happening very fast for me in life and I may realise this dream.

“I couldn’t win in the first opportunity but things sometimes don’t happen. I’m far from over with my football and if I get another chance or perhaps two, to play in a World Cup, I will be very happy.”

And what about playing in another Olympics? “I will leave that for our confederation to decide,” he said. “But given the choice I would like to play again in the Olympics.”

Updated: November 14, 2019 10:52 AM

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