Gabriel has revealed how close he was to giving up on his dream of being a professional footballer.
The Brazilian defender had failed trials at Gremio and Santos when he was handed a last chance to impress at a national youth tournament.
“It was in Copa Sao Paulo, the most famous competition for young players in Brazil,” the Brazilian told Arsenal Player. “I was playing for Taboao da Serra and Vitoria was in the same group.
"We had pre-season games here I started to look at English football more closely and I wanted to join a Premier League team"
“We didn’t pass the group stage but my football was impressive. Then Vitoria called me for a test in Salvador. Thanks God, after that all went well. It was a three-month trial.
“The first month was easy for me because I was looking for something new, but time went by and I never received any feedback and then things started to get a bit more complicated.
“I had no money, even for simple things like going out with my friends. There were times I thought about quitting because I was always alone, but I repeated to myself many times, ‘This is my dream, I have to try harder. With my feet on the ground I will succeed in my career’.”
Gabriel has since been a huge success in Brazil and Spain, and now he is ready to continue his development at Arsenal.
“I never imagined playing in England, but when we had pre-season games here I started to look at English football more closely and I wanted to join a Premier League team,” he said.
“I spoke with my agent and we had a friendly conversation about my desire of joining a top English club. Months later, this offer came, much to my delight, and things are going well.”
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