Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus says that he is returning to his top level ahead of the World Cup in the summer.
He has been named in Brazil’s squad for Russia 2018 and believes that he is coming to the boil at just the right moment.
The 21-year-old has had a tricky second season at the Etihad Stadium, where he missed a couple of months of action because of a knee injury earlier in the campaign. Despite this, he managed to score 17 goals in 42 appearances.
Nevertheless, he believes that his goal against West Ham last weekend shows that he is returning to his peak.
“I’m returning to my best football,” he told ESPN Brazil after that fixture. “But I’ve had much better games.”
Indeed, he believes that the time off earlier this year may actually benefit him for the summer’s tournament.
“In my case, I don’t think the rest will be a problem. I practice very hard, I take care of myself and I’m young,” he said. “I always want to run, I always want to play. Of course I will go there a little less worn out.”
Meanwhile, on of the biggest thrills that Jesus has had is adding his own face to his World Cup sticker book.
“You look at it and you don't believe it because you used to collect the stickers of so many players and, today, yours is there,” he said. “You get your own and you see everyone talking about it, you see everyone wanting to get your sticker.
“This is crazy. It makes me so happy. Sometimes I can't even believe it. It is simply the biggest tournament in the world of football, the most desired by every player in every country. Before, you had an idea. Now you really know what it's like.”
He has played 15 times for his country and has bagged nine goals in those matches, including seven in World Cup qualification.