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World Cup A-Z: J is for Jesus

ON THE FRONT FOOT: Gabriel Jesus in action for Brazil at Russia 2018

ON THE FRONT FOOT: Gabriel Jesus in action for Brazil at Russia 2018

We continue our A-Z of the World Cup with a focus on City's Brazilian sharp-shooter - and recall a fond favourite from the recent past

J is for Jesus

In terms of Gabriel Jesus and the World Cup, the City striker and his Brazil team-mates will be fervently hoping the best is yet to come over the next few weeks at Russia 2018.

The 21-year-old has established himself as a key figure for the Selecao ever since making his international bow back in September 2016, having previously been part of the Brazil squad that had won Olympic gold that summer.

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Jesus went on to finish as Brazil’s top scorer in their South American qualifying group, registering seven goals in 10 games to help Tite’s side impressively qualify in top spot.

On the back of a fine second season with City, where he helped the Club to both Premier League and Carabao Cup glory, Jesus was then handed a starting spot in Brazil’s opening Group E game at Russia 2018 against Switzerland.

GABRIEL JESUS:  Best of 2017/18.

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Gabriel Jesus: Best of 2017/18

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But he and his team-mates were left frustrated as the five-times winners were forced to settle for a point in a 1-1 draw.

Next up for Brazil is a second group clash with Costa Rica on Friday where Gabriel and his colleagues – including City team-mates Danilo, Fernandinho and Ederson, will be doubly determined to put the record straight. 

READ: Man City 100 Gabriel Jesus Centurions

READ: World Cup player focus 4 Danilo

Honourable mention in regard to the letter J and City at the World Cup also goes to Sun Jihai of China, who emerged as a firm favourite in his spell at the Club between 2002 and 2008.

The first East Asian player to score a goal in the Premier League, Jihai remains one of the most famous player ever produced by China for whom he made 80 international appearances.

And Jihai was instrumental in China making their inaugural – and to date only – appearance at World Cup finals when South Korea and Japan hosted the showpiece back in 2002.

TRAIL BLAZER: Sun Jihai in action for China at the 2002 World Cup finals

But sadly his experience at the greatest football show on earth was to prove frustratingly brief. In China’s opening group match against Costa Rica, Jihai picked up an injury just 17 minutes in which forced him off the field.

He was subsequently forced to sit out China’s remaining two group games, against China and Turkey, with the side departing having lost all three games without scoring a goal.

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