Gabriel spoke exclusively to MUTV’s Mark Sullivan, in fluent English, moments after being unveiled as a summer signing alongside Michael Owen and Antonio Valencia.
How does it feel to be here?
I am very happy. I am proud to be here. I will try to prove to the boss what I can do and then we will see.
What do you hope to achieve here at Manchester United?
I hope to become a better player, to improve and progress because I’m only 20. I know I’ll have to work hard.
There are many fantastic players here. Are you excited to be amongst them?
Yes, very excited. I look forward to playing with them. I know I’m surrounded by great players like Dimitar Berbatov and Wayne Rooney so I know it will be hard (to get into the team) but I am very excited.
Do you feel that playing with these great players can make you a better player?
Yes, even training with them is great. I hope I will have the chance to play with them on the pitch.
What can you tell us about your style of play?}
I think I’m quick and technical – I do a lot of tricks. I like to dribble, to have the ball and take on a defender, face to face.
You’ve represented your country at various levels – for example you scored against England for the Under-21s. Is it your ambition to play at the very top for France?
Yes, although it is pretentious to talk about the first (senior) team now. I am an Under-21 international now and I will work hard. Maybe then, at the end of the season, I may have a chance to get in (into the senior squad.)
Who are your sporting idols?
I love very much Rivaldo, the Brazilian footballer, Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo.
So will you try and emulate some of Ronaldo’s ability here?
I will try but he is a great player. He won the Ballon d’Or last year so it will be difficult. I will have to improve and progress a lot, then we will see.
We have had some fantastic French players here in the past – Eric Cantona, Laurent Blanc and Fabien Barthez – and in the present with Patrice Evra. Do you hope to follow in their