Thursday November 21 2019
Gabigol: 'I have matured'

Flamengo loan star Gabriel Barbosa claims he can score goals “in Brazil, England, Germany or Spain” and assures he has “matured” after his stint at Inter.

The forward is preparing for the Copa Libertadores Final against Argentina's River Plate and has been a huge hit in the Brazilian league since he moved back to his native country on loan.

“I learned a lot during my time at Inter, even though I had limited opportunities to show my capabilities,” the Brazilian striker told AS.

“I arrived highly motivated and wanted to show my abilities. I worked hard, I tried to learn the philosophy of every coach in a new environment.

“Perhaps, with some consistency, my adventure at Inter would have been a completely different story.

“I always respected the coach’s decisions, even though I felt like I should play more often."

Inter and Flamengo are currently negotiating a permanent deal for the 23-year-old, who also had an unsuccessful stint at Benfica during his time in Europe. 

“I learned a lot also during my period at Benfica, to always have a smile on my face and work on my own abilities.

“Today, I’m more mature and it’s normal that it could be more difficult to settle down in a different championship than the one I grew up in. But life is made of choices and risks, I don’t have any regrets. I wouldn’t be what I am today without them.”

Barbosa, also know as ‘Gabigol’, said is happy to be scoring again at Flamengo and is proud to be the leading goal scorer in Brazil.

“The Brazilian league is one of the most competitive championships in the world. To be the top scorer last season was a very important for my career and I hope to do it again,” he added. “It is the result of how hard I worked and shows my evolution as a player.”

He may well be heading back to Europe after a spell in South America, to prove that he’s got what it takes to settle down in one of the big leagues on this continent.

“I feel ready to score in Brazil, England, Germany or Spain,” he said. “La Liga is certainly a league I like, there are world-class teams like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Valencia.

“I follow them closely, they have a quick paced style of football and a very high technical level.”

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