The Brazilian attacker says he uses his famous countryman as motivation after a stunning performance to help his team progress to the last eight
Gabriel Jesus has revealed he uses the incredible talent of Brazil legend Ronaldo Nazario as motivation after the Manchester City striker led his team past Real Madrid in the Champions League last 16.
With the English side leading 2-1 after the first leg at the Bernabeu, Jesus twice forced Real centre-half Raphael Varane into errors as City claimed another 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium to progress 4-2 on aggregate.
Jesus robbed Varane of the ball in the ninth minute before squaring to Raheem Sterling for the game’s opener, however that strike was cancelled out by Karim Benzema 20 minutes later.
But Jesus ensured that Manchester City were guaranteed progression to meet Lyon in the quarter-finals by nicking in to intercept Varane’s back-pass header and expertly finishing past Thibaut Courtois.
With both Man City goals coming from his pressing work, the Brazil international spoke of his focus on his defensive efforts — and revealed he was inspired by the career of his countryman Ronaldo.
“We beat a top team, the best club in this competition so for us it is massive,” Jesus told BT Sport.
“It is about belief, believe in their mistakes. We are human and can make mistakes so I believe always and I press, press a lot. It is one of my powers. I was happy to score.
“I work to be a great striker, I work every day hard to be like Ronaldo was. His quality is different from me but I have to work to be a great striker.
“Real Madrid are such a good team, they have a lot of players. They can beat us which is why we came to the pitch to work hard again.
“We have to keep working and stay strong for the next game.”
Sterling, who scored his 100th goal for Manchester City and his fifth of their Champions League campaign, believes his team’s work-rate was the main reason behind their victory in the tie.
“Energy, passion. It is a competition we want to do well in. If we play our football and run our socks off then the result will come,” Sterling said to BT Sport.
“We know how good they are, we know how good we are and the difference was who would run the most and I thought we were brilliant today.
“We wanted to be right on them and from our pressing we got two goals. [It is] a great achievement [to score 100 goals for the club], hopefully plenty more to follow.”