Gabriel Jesus said he decided to leave Manchester City when coach Pep Guardiola made him cry after leaving him out of the starting lineup in a Champions League game.
The Brazil international joined Arsenal last summer after five years at the Etihad a move he said made him feel “free.”
Speaking to the “Denilson show” podcast, Jesus said the turning point in his City career came during their home game against Paris Saint-Germain in November 2021 when he was named on the bench.
“There was a Champions League game, PSG, at home, in which he put [Oleksandr] Zinchenko as a false 9. Crazy thing,” Jesus said. “The day before, he didn’t even use [Zinchenko] in training, he had put me in as a striker. Zinchenko even joked with me: ‘that day I felt bad for you.’
“Two hours before the game, there’s a team talk, the team eats, rests for 30 minutes and goes to the game. He told us the team, I didn’t even eat. I went straight to the room, crying, I called my mother to talk: ‘I want to leave.’ I’m going home, because he put [Zinchenko] on, and he didn’t put me on. He put a left-back there. I went crazy.”
Jesus replaced Zinchenko in the second half and set up the equaliser before scoring a late winner to give City a 2-1 win.
“I didn’t warm up,” Jesus added. “I felt bad. Five minutes after [Kylian] Mbappe scored the goal for 1-0, [Guardiola] called me. I gave an assist and scored; weturned it around 2-1. In the next [Champions League] game [a 2-1 win at RB Leipzig], I thought I was going to play, and I didn’t play.
“There was a lot of that with him [Guardiola], and it’s not easy. But one [player] evolves. It is really hard. That’s when I decided, I didn’t want to stay anymore. And I decided to leave.”
Jesus who joined City in January 2017 from Palmeiras won 11 titles with the Manchester club.