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Jesus: “I could improve a little more” after being snubbed from Brazil squad

Gabriel Jesus has refused to blame anyone but himself after being left out of Brazil’s squad for their two friendlies this month.

Tite’s side face Ghana and Tunisia in France over the next week as they put the final touches to their preparations for the World Cup in Qatar, which they are the favourites to win.

But Jesus, along with Arsenal team-mates Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Magalhaes, was axed from the 26-man squad which features 11 Premier League players.

Those include Roberto Firmino and Richarlison, who are competing with Jesus for the central striker role in the team.

The 25-year-old’s omission came as a surprise as he has made an impressive start to life at Arsenal following his £45million summer move from Manchester City, scoring four goals in eight appearances.

But Jesus has vowed to work hard to win his spot back for the World Cup, which is now just two months away.

‘There was (contact), after the call-up, yes,’ he told ESPN Brasil. ‘I respect the coach’s decision a lot, I respect Tite, the entire staff.

‘As I said, I’m Brazilian, I’ll always root for the team. And I also respect the other players, who have a lot of quality. I’ll keep doing my best to have the opportunity again.

‘What is in my control is my performance. I will always try to give my best, finish the plays. Today I had some chances that I could also improve a little more, I know. I’ve been training, trying to do my best.’

Jesus has scored 19 goals in 56 caps for Brazil, but has found the net only once in his last 21 international appearances since scoring in the 2019 Copa America final as his country defeated Peru.

‘This squad is to give opportunities to others to show themselves,’ Tite said when asked about Jesus after this month’s squad was announced. ‘He is competing for a spot and he is in a big moment.’

If fit, the striker is still expected to be picked to go to the World Cup – where Brazil come up against Serbia, Switzerland and Cameroon in the group stages.

Jesus started every match in Russia four years ago as the five-time champions reached the quarter-finals, where they were knocked out by Belgium.

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