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'We're a family' - Gabriel Jesus has special support group at Man City

12:08 am AEDT 13/3/19
Gabriel Jesus, Man City
The Brazil striker has the backing of his countrymen at the Etihad Stadium as he looks to establish himself in Pep Guardiola's team

Gabriel Jesus has the support of his Brazilian 'family' at Manchester City as he looks to step out of Sergio Aguero's shadow.

The 21-year-old striker has largely had to play second fiddle to the Argentine goal-poacher since joining the Etihad Stadium club from Palmeiras in 2017.

Jesus has settled in Manchester and says he likes the city despite missing home.

And the presence of a small enclave of his countrymen in the City dressing room - plus the backing of manager Pep Guardiola - means he is in a positive frame of mind about his position at the club.

The likes of goalkeeper Ederson, defender Danilo and fellow Portuguese speaker Bernardo Silva have made Jesus feel at home, which has helped the striker to a record of 16 goals in 36 appearances in all competitions this season, despite playing a supporting role to Aguero.

He told Bleacher Report: "It helps having people around who are from the same culture and speak the same language as you.

"The atmosphere is really good. It's not just those guys who help me; everyone in the squad looks after one other.

"But having guys from the same place as you is a bonus. We can talk about anything. We're a family."

His main mentor since moving to Manchester with mother Dona Vera and a group of his friends has been Brazil midfield veteran Fernandinho.

"When I arrived in Manchester, he and his family did so much," said Jesus. "We used to go over to his house and eat with him, because we didn't know the city well enough to find Brazilian food. We are a very Brazilian family, so we needed that.

"We would also chat, and it helped us start to feel at home here. That was very important. I was 19 years old, in another country with a different culture and a different language. I didn't know anything. It would have been difficult if it wasn't for the people helping me.

"Fernando, who is not at City anymore, also helped. But Fernandinho...I consider him to be a kind of godfather figure for me."

City are in Champions League action against Schalke, holding a 3-2 lead going into Tuesday night's second leg at Etihad Stadium.

Guardiola's side then have an FA Cup quarter-final tie against Championship side Swansea at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.