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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019

Man City star 'scarred' by goalless World Cup woes

Gabriel Jesus admits his struggles for domestic form this season can be traced back to a difficult showing for his country in Russia.

 Gabriel Jesus (file pic).
Gabriel Jesus (file pic).

GABRIEL JESUS HAS looked a little out of sorts this season, and the Manchester City striker admits he was left “scarred” by the struggles he endured with Brazil at the 2018 World Cup.

The 21-year-old headed to Russia over the summer being tipped by many to help lead a challenge for global glory.

Brazil, though, were unable to find their spark, with talismanic skipper Neymar short on match sharpness and his supporting cast failing to deliver.

Jesus did not find the target across any of his five outings and was widely criticised in his homeland for drawing a blank.

That slump has carried over into the current domestic campaign, with just three Premier League efforts recorded so far.

Jesus does have a Champions League hat-trick to his name, from a meeting with Shakhtar Donetsk, but he told Globo TV of the impact World Cup woes have had on his form: “That elimination of ours was a blow for all of us, especially for me.

“I went to the World Cup as a key player and I ended up not scoring. It affects you.

I was scarred by that. People will always remember Gabriel who did not score in the World Cup.”

Brazil made it to the quarter-final stage in Russia before being dumped out by Belgium.

Jesus was among those forced to take in a painful period of reflection on the back of a disappointing exit.

He was also given longer than most in which to lick his wounds.

Selecao coach Tite opted to overlook him when naming post-World Cup squads, with other attacking options being favoured.

Jesus has since been returned to the fold, but international snubs also rocked his confidence.

He added: “I will not deny that I was upset because I did not go, but I will always respect the coaches’ choice, both Tite and Pep [Guardiola], when they do not put me to play.

I want to work, I always want to improve, and do only good things.”

Jesus, who ended a barren run in front of goal when bagging a brace against Everton on December 15, will be hoping to fire himself and City back into form when the reigning English champions travel to Leicester on Boxing Day.

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