Gabriel Jesus Talks International Rivalry with Nicolas Otamendi, Sergio Aguero

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistNovember 14, 2019

MILAN, ITALY - NOVEMBER 06:  Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City in action during the UEFA Champions League group C match between Atalanta and Manchester City at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on November 6, 2019 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Gabriel Jesus has said there is rivalry between him and his Manchester City team-mates Sergio Aguero and Nicolas Otamendi when they meet on the international stage.

The 22-year-old striker will face his Argentinian club-mates on Friday when Brazil play La Albiceleste in a friendly in Saudi Arabia.

Jesus said ahead of the clash that, despite spending most of his time on the same team as Otamendi and Aguero, they are rivals when they meet on the international stage, per the Press Association (h/t Sky Sports):

"It's always good to play a match of this magnitude—Brazil and Argentina is the greatest soccer classic. I always play very hard, with star players on the other side, too. Hopefully it is a good show, and hopefully, we will be victorious.

"I talked to Otamendi, I was joking with him—I said if he bumped me, I would give it back. When we are together in the club, we all swim in the same direction. Now I defend my country, and they [defend] their own country. Let them do their best, but there is rivalry."

Jesus, Aguero and Otamendi were all part of Pep Guardiola's City squad for their 3-1 loss to Liverpool at Anfield in the Premier League on Sunday.

B/R Football @brfootball

2016—Liverpool 3-0 Manchester City 2016—Liverpool 1-0 Manchester City 2018—Liverpool 4-3 Manchester City 2018—Liverpool 3-0 Manchester City 2019—Liverpool 3-1 Manchester City It’s another nightmare at Anfield for City 😱 https://t.co/dh6kdt4079

The defeat saw the defending champions drop nine points behind the Reds in the 2019-20 title race:

Premier League @premierleague

A dramatic #PL weekend https://t.co/4nNdSH0kPY

What Guardiola will be hoping for during the international break is that none of his squad pick up any injuries.

The Sky Blues cannot afford to drop any more points in their upcoming matches if they are to claw their way back into contention to win a third successive Premier League title.

The quality of opposition remains high for City's next game on November 23, when they host Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium.

Frank Lampard's Blues are on a winning run of six successive matches in the Premier League.

By the time they face Chelsea, City could be 12 points back from Liverpool, who play Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park earlier in the day.