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Gabriel Barbosa

Gabigol still dreaming of Inter impact despite disastrous initial spell

18:18 EAT 04/05/2018
Gabigol Inter
The Brazilian flopped badly in Italy after making a big-money move, but has started to rebuild his form and reputation during a loan spell at Santos

Gabigol insists it is still his “dream” to make an impact in Italy with Inter despite proving to be a €29.5 million flop so far.

The highly rated Brazilian forward moved to the San Siro in the summer of 2016 as one of the most exciting young players on the planet.

He was, however, to be denied regular game time during his debut campaign and struggled to prove his worth during the limited outings he was given – netting just once in 10 appearances.

The 2017-18 season has also been a struggle, having failed to make his mark during a stint at Portuguese side Benfica, but a loan return to Santos has helped to rebuild his confidence and form.

Having scored five times since returning to his homeland in January, Gabigol is hoping that he will be able to show his true colours when he heads back to Milan in early 2019.

Quizzed on his future plans by Calciomercato, the 21-year-old said: “Right now I’m completely focused on Santos.

“We’ll see what happens at the end of my loan. I leave everything in the hands of God, but certainly I dream of wearing the Nerazzurri jersey again.

“I’d be very happy if I did. What didn’t work out for me? I chose the Nerazzurri for the project they’d proposed to me.

“I was very motivated and eager to show my worth. I arrived with a great desire to play and make history, but unfortunately things didn’t go as planned.

“My characteristics didn’t square up with the club, but I respect them a lot. I made many new friends there, especially with my teammates, from Brazilians like Miranda and Felipe Melo to Joao Mario, who went there the same time as me.

“It was a very useful experience, despite having played little. I’m a young player, I have my whole career ahead of me, so I try to absorb everything in terms of experience.”

Gabigol, who has two goals in four senior outings for Brazil, may yet to be able to salvage his World Cup dream.

He does face fierce competition for places and has slipped down the pecking order on the back of a forgettable stint in Europe, but a shop window in Russia could be the perfect stage on which to reintroduce himself to a global audience.