Gabriel Jesus: I'm a great fan of Real Madrid's Vinicius

Mon 25 April 2022 | 18:28

Gabriel Jesus praised Brazil teammate Vinicius Junior ahead of Manchester City's Champions League match against Real Madrid.

Gabriel Jesus

Manchester City

striker, claimed he is a "huge fan" of compatriot

Vinicius Junior

ahead of the first leg of the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid on Tuesday.

Jesus, who made history by becoming the first Brazilian to score four goals in a

Premier League

match during City's 5-1 thrashing of Watford on Saturday, is hoping to help

Pep Guardiola

's side win their first Champions League trophy after losing in the final to Chelsea last season.

Vinicius, Jesus' international teammate, has helped

Real Madrid

score 31 goals in all competitions this season (17 goals, 14 assists), as Carlo Ancelotti's side tries to win their 14th European title.

Jesus said the emergence of players like Vinicius meant Tuesday's match will be a different proposition than City's last Champions League meeting with Madrid in 2019-20 last 16, in which he scored in both legs of a 4-2 aggregate victory.

"It was really difficult and tight, as it always is when you play against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu," Jesus said of City's March 2020 trip to Madrid to Marca. "We won, but they may have won as well." I was delighted to assist my squad, but things will be different now that other players are involved.

"Vinicius, who was playing at the time but is now much more mature, will be playing." He's still the same player, but he's grown up. I'm a great fan of his, and I'm hoping he can keep improving in the future." I wish him luck, but not in my favor!

"It's difficult because you arrive as a young player at a club the magnitude of Real Madrid, you play, you have possibilities, and things don't go well because you lack experience and maturity. Criticism is cyclical. I'm glad for him because of the high level of quality he possesses. Everyone knew he was capable of such feats. Football is similar in that it has its highs and lows. I hope he maintains this level of performance in order to be happy with his football."

Vinicius has made the most 10-yard progressive carries in the Champions League this season (62), and no player in the tournament has been rewarded with a shoot after a carry (moving five or more meters with the ball) more than the 21-year-old (21 – 10 shots, 11 chances created).

City has won one and drawn two of their last three home Champions League matches against Los Blancos, and Guardiola could become the first manager in Champions League history to eliminate the Spanish giants from three separate knockout ties.

After making just 17 league starts for Guardiola's side this season, Jesus has been linked with a move away from the Premier League leaders. The striker, however, has stated that he would not make any choices about his future until the end of the season, emphasizing the "need" for City to win their first European title.

"I've been here for about five years. "I was extremely young when I joined, only 19 years old, and both the club and the players have won numerous titles," he added. "We need to win the Champions League after coming so close last year and now being in the semi-finals this year. I'm focused on the rest of the season and these games, all of which are pivotal." Then we'll see what happens with my contract, whether it's renewed or not."

source: SportMob

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