Tite: Gabriel Jesus is a horse
Four matches, four victories – that is Tite’s record as Brazil coach. Four internationals, four goals – that is Gabriel Jesus’s record as the senior Seleção spearhead.
Together, they have helped Brazil climb from sixth in South American qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ – they were only above seventh-placed Paraguay on goal difference – to first. Tite has heaped praise on the 19-year-old, to whom he handed an international debut seven weeks ago.
“When came to play against Palmeiras, I said, ‘It’s impossible that he beats my two defenders, Gil and Felipe, for speed,” Tite told SporTV’s Bem, Amigos! show. “What does this guy have!? His turn of pace, his ten-metre , they’re very strong.
“The only thing I put to him: don’t let up on the marking, don’t commit fouls, and don’t be shy of getting the ball and going at your man, because of the force he has. He’s a horse. He’s a very strong animal.”
The 19-year-old, who helped Brazil finish runners-up at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2015 and win this year’s Men’s Olympic Football Tournament, will join Manchester City from Palmeiras in January. Tite believes working under Pep Guardiola will be ideal for the striker’s development.
“He didn’t consult me, because we were just getting to know each other,” explained the 55-year-old. “I believe he did , because of the coach. Normally you pick the club with the coach. Yes, he got it right.
“He’s one hell of a kid. He’s very introverted.”
Tite will name his squad for next month’s qualifiers at home to Argentina and away to Peru on Friday.