Gabriel Jesus admits he can put himself under too much pressure to score after coming out of a recent goalscoring drought, revealing he feels like he wants to “shoot himself in the head” when he cannot find the net.
The Manchester City striker netted a hat-trick in Wednesday’s 4-1 victory over Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League to take his tally to five goals in three games.
But that run has come on the back of eight appearances without a goal, and the 22-year-old says a run without scoring can start to play on his mind.
“Honestly, last month I was no good and I wasn’t happy. I played eight or nine games and I didn’t score and I missed chances so I’m not happy with that,” he said.
“When this happens, of course, I cannot be happy. Sometimes football is like that. You have to keep working hard and try to score, try to help the team and work and that’s what I have done.
“Always I think: ‘Wow I have to score’ because I’m playing for a big club in big competitions with big players.
“I think it happens with other players. I cannot talk about other players I can only talk about me when I’m not happy with me I want to shoot myself in the head because it’s difficult for me.
“I take it [personally] of course. I think: ‘Oh my god I have to score, I have to score, I have to score’. When I have the chance sometimes I miss it because I think too much and put too much pressure on myself. I try. I’m getting better. I’m working to score and don’t think about the pressure.”
It was a night of personal milestones for Jesus as he became the youngest Brazilian to 10 goals in the Champions League – surpassing Neymar – and the youngest player to score more than one hat-trick in the competition.
Jesus also passed a century of goals in his career with his third against Dinamo taking him to a combined total of 101 for City, Palmeiras, and Brazil.
The landmark has come remarkably quick considering he is often second choice to team-mate Sergio Aguero, but he says the pair have a friendly rivalry, which helps to drive each other on.
“I’m a blessed guy,” he said of passing 100 goals. “I try all the time to do my best and sometimes I cannot do it and that’s the way.
“It’s important for me to score goals and keep scoring goals because I have to. I’m at a big club and play with big players.
“I’m in a single competition with Sergio – a friendly competition. I hope that when he plays he scores. I always want him to help the team and his team-mates. When I play he does the same, which is amazing.
“I have to learn from him because he’s scored a lot for the club and throughout his career. And I’m happy with 101 goals in my career.”