Gabigol, in AS: “Europe? Today I am much more prepared”

Absolute idol in Brazil after a 2019 in which he led Flamengo in the conquests of Brasileirao and Libertadores, and in which he put Liverpool in serious trouble in the Club World Cup final, Gabigol (23 years old) is now pointed out in his country as a much more accomplished footballer and person. It is something in which the striker agrees, who has incorporated the facility to attend his range of qualities and who is very focused on his family. With another possible adventure in Europe on the horizon, the Pichichi of the Brasileirao of 2018 and 2019, of the Libertadores of 2019, of the Cup of Brazil of 2014, 2015 and 2018, and of the Carioca of this 2020 (also maximum assistant) Talk about all this with Diario AS.

Flamengo Shield / Flag

He did a historic season with Flamengo and he was seen back in Europe. Did it cost you to stay in Brazil?

2019 was a great year, the best of my career. There were many collective and individual challenges and successes. I gave a great turn to my personal and professional life, I matured in every way. Flamengo taught me the greatness of the club and the biggest fans in the world, Rio de Janeiro embraced me in a way that I was totally delighted with, the entity was structured and formed a very competitive squad, which enabled us to win the titles. Of course, I had tempting offers from Europe, but at that moment I felt the desire to continue here for all that that represented.

At this high level, it is hard to believe that he will not return to Europe …

Europe's choice will come at the right time, when it is good for me and Flamengo. Today I feel that I am much more prepared to face the professional and personal challenges of a change of country.

In Brazil the situation with COVID-19 is very hard. How did you experience confinement?

It is being a difficult period, not only in Brazil, but throughout the world. We have already returned to the activity, with the appropriate security measures. Before that I took care of body and mind, training with my own physio and reading.

What was the best and what was the worst at that stage?

The worst, without a doubt, not having the routine of training and games, contact with the fans, who are very passionate. The best thing was to spend more time with my family and friends, to enjoy with them, which during the season is more difficult due to the calendar. And I was also able to participate in the planning of many things in my career, such as the creation of my child character (Gabigolzinho) and my brand.


How does the new football feel, without an audience, with more changes …?

All of Flamengo's matches were in Maracana with 60,000 spectators. The hobby was our number twelve player. Now we have had to adapt without our greatest reinforcement, which is the flamenguistas, but we must be aware that it is a time to put health ahead of the rest. We have been almost four months without matches, the players still need better physical shape and we have had a high concentration of matches, so having more substitutions is helping to avoid injuries.

New football, but one thing does not change: you, always Pichichi …

Yes, I have added another Pichichi with Flamengo and, the main thing, another title. Surprise has been the subject of assists; I have improved a lot in that section.

Is it something you have worked on especially?

Jorge Jesus helped me a lot in my way of thinking and executing. Football is a thing of 11 and we need to have that knowledge because, with that maturity, I can become a complete player, always making the right decision for the collective good.

“The Brazilian team is a target. I was called up before the pandemic and I will continue working to return”

What are Flamengo's goals this season?

We have already won three titles and we are going for another two. Our goal is to fight for all of us who compete.

2021 will be important for the teams. Copa América, Games or both tournaments?

The Brazilian team is a target. I was summoned before the pandemic and I will continue to work hard on my team to return.

In Madrid we now have Reinier. What would you say to the Spanish about him?

He is a very talented boy and he helped us a lot last year despite his young age. I am sure you have everything you need to succeed in Europe. Madrid made a safe investment and will reap the rewards in the future.