'Messi is getting old, Man City's Gabriel Jesus will win Ballon d'Or in next three years'

A former coach of the 19-year-old believes that the Brazilian forward is destined for greatness, and can become the best player in the world in the next few years

New Manchester City signing Gabriel Jesus will win the Ballon d’Or in the next three years, according to his former coach.

The Brazil international is set to make his Premier League debut in January after a £27 million move from Palmeiras. Despite being only 19-years-old, he already has four goals in six international appearances for his homeland, as well as an Olympic gold medal from the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro.

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 Jose Francisco Mamede coached Jesus at junior club Pequeninos do Meio Ambiente de Sao Paulo, and has tipped him to become the best player in the world in the near future.

“Gabriel came from a very poor neighbourhood and that’s why he’s not afraid,” Mamede told AFP. “He will adapt to the food, to the cold in Manchester and everything else.

“In three years he’ll win the Ballon d’Or, because [Lionel] Messi will already be getting a bit old.”

A forward, Jesus has scored 21 goals in 46 games for Palmeiras, helping his club side to the Copa do Brasil in 2015 and then the Brazilian league title earlier this year.

Former coach Mamede was impressed with Jesus’s talent, even as a young child, claiming that he always had the ability and the determination to succeed.

“From the very first training session, we saw he was different,” the coach continued.

“He never lacked anything. He’d be the first to do the exercises.

“He was always determined to be a professional.”