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The secret is out: Gabriel Jesus a household name after starring on Brazil debut

The secret is out. Having announced himself to Brazil, Gabriel Jesus has now arrived on the world stage. 

The teenager’s renown grew once again this week after he inspired Brazil to a much-needed 3-0 World Cup qualifying victory away to Ecuador on Thursday.

The future Manchester City man was up against Brazils other latest poster boy for a slot in the starting lineup, with coach Tite having to choose between Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel ‘Gabigol’ Barbosa. 

After a closed training session on Wednesday, Tite emphatically told the press the clandestine days of the Selecao were over by announcing his first XI. Gabriel Jesus made the cut.

Moreover, he was handed the famous no.9 shirt – one that the Selecao have struggled to adequately fill in recent years.

Gabriel Jesus was no longer the future. He was the present. And his arrival was timely.

Brazil struggled at the altitude of Ecuadorian capital on Tite’s debut in the dugout. With 20 minutes remaining, the game remained goalless. 

Profile: New Brazil coach Tite | Tite hails Gabriel Jesus | 33 years without a win in Quito | In Stats: Ecuador 0-3 Brazil

Renato Augusto, a star of the Olympics, was marginalised, too far forward and too far over to the left as the teething problems of a new coach attempting to translate new ideas to a new group of players began to show.

But then came a hero. Gabriel Jesus robbed Arturo Mina and darted into the box, skipping past goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez and drawing a penalty. Neymar converted and the game had changed.

Gabriel Jesus then put the result beyond any doubt, before doing the same regarding his goalscoring debut. He made it two with an improvised backheel that appeared to bounce in off Walter Ayovi (though on Friday Conmebol and Fifa seem to disagree on whether it was an own goal or not).

Not to be denied, Gabriel Jesus capped a famous night with a magnificent finish to end a nine-pass move that began with goalkeeper Alisson.

It sealed a remarkable month for the 19-year-old, who had already helped Brazilian football to its first ever Olympic gold medal and agreed a mega-money transfer to the English Premier League.

His performance made yet more history, inspiring Brazil to their first win in Ecuador in 33 years.

“I look at the Gabriel and I see a bit of my old self,” said none other than Ronaldo, perhaps the greatest No. 9 the game has ever seen. 

“I see the coincidences, he is so young and already so successful and carrying a lot of responsibility. He has a fantastic road ahead of him.”

His guile, trickery and devastating pace has him hurtling down the fast lane. To label anyone the ‘next Ronaldo’ would be cruel, but Gabriel Jesus is not a million miles away – and those miles are being eaten up by the second.

It's just the beginning of a long journey, but Gabriel Jesus is already a household name.