Gabriel Jesus: “I fled City because Guardiola made me cry.”
Gabriel Jesus, an Arsenal midfielder, revealed he opted to quit Manchester City after head coach Pep Guardiola made him cry after keeping him out of the starting eleven in a UEFA Champions League game.
The Brazilian international worked for Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium for five years before joining Arsenal last summer, a move he described as “free.”
Speaking on the “Denilson show” podcast, Jesus stated that the turning point in his City career occurred during a home game against Paris Saint-Germain in November 2021, when he was named to the bench.
“He put [Oleksandr] Zinchenko as a false 9 in a Champions League game against PSG at home.” “Wow,” Jesus exclaimed. “He didn’t even use him [Zinchenko] in training the day before, he threw me in as a striker… Zinchenko even made a joke with me, saying, ‘that day I felt awful for you.’
“Two hours before the game, we have a team meeting, eat, rest for 30 minutes, and then go to the game.” He told us about the team… I didn’t eat anything. I ran to my room, crying, and told my mother, ‘I want to leave.’ I’m going home because he put Zinchenko on but not me. He inserted a left-back. “I lost my mind.”
In the second half, Jesus came on to replace Zinchenko and set up the equalizer before scoring a late goal to give City a 2-1 victory.
“I didn’t warm up,” Jesus continued. “I felt terrible. He [Guardiola] contacted me five minutes after [Kylian] Mbappe scored the 1-0 goal. I assisted and scored, and we won the game 2-1. I assumed I was going to play in the next [Champions League] game [a 2-1 win at RB Leipzig], but I didn’t.
“With him [Guardiola], there was a lot of that, and it’s not easy. However, one [player] evolves. It’s quite difficult. That’s when I realized I didn’t want to stay. And I made the decision to leave.”
Jesus joined City from Palmeiras in January 2017 and has won 11 titles with the Manchester City.
In his first season with Arsenal, he scored 11 goals and assisted seven more in 26 league appearances as the Gunners were runners-up to Manchester City in the Premier League.