Gabriel Je­sus wins ti­tle with Palmeiras be­fore Man City move

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Fu­ture Manch­ester City striker Gabriel Je­sus helped Palmeiras win its first Brazil­ian cham­pi­onship ti­tle in 22 years af­ter a 10 home vic­tory over Chapecoense on Sun­day. The Sao Paulo-based club has now won the tour­na­ment a record nine times, one ahead of San­tos.

De­fender Fabi­ano scored the only goal on 26 min­utes from the edge of the box to put Palmeiras seven points ahead of sec­ond­placed Fla­mengo with one round left.

“Un­for­tu­nately this was my last game here. This is not good­bye, this is a ‘see you later’“Gabriel Je­sus told jour­nal­ists on the pitch dur­ing the cel­e­bra­tions. “Here in Brazil I got the habit of win­ning ti­tles, now I hope there are many more to cel­e­brate in the fu­ture.”

“Never for­get me be­cause I will never for­get you,” a tear­ful Gabriel Je­sus told more than 40,000 fans at the Al­lianz Par­que in Sao Paulo.

The 19-year-old player has al­ready lifted a Brazil­ian cup with Palmeiras last year, won gold at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in Au­gust and be­came Brazil’s No. 9 un­der new coach Tite, scor­ing five goals in six matches of the World Cup qual­i­fiers.

Gabriel Je­sus, who will miss the last round of the Brazil­ian cham­pi­onship, signed in Au­gust for Man City but stayed in Brazil to see out the sea­son.

Rel­e­gated twice to the sec­ond di­vi­sion af­ter their last ti­tle, Palmeiras’ re­cov­ery was fi­nanced by mil­lion­aire club pres­i­dent Paulo No­bre.

No­bre, a for­mer rally racer from a wealthy family, lifted the tro­phy ac­com­pa­nied by 24-yearold striker Dudu, one of the team’s best per­form­ers this year.

The stars of the team in­clude Gabriel Je­sus, who was Palmeiras’ top scorer in the tour­na­ment with 12 goals, and 42year-old Ze Roberto, a for­mer de­fen­sive mid­fielder with Brazil, Real Madrid and Bay­ern Mu­nich.

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