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“I couldn’t even talk” | Gabriel Martinelli reflects on his reaction to being called up for Brazil’s World Cup squad

The 21-year-old Arsenal starlet has been a leading light for Mikel Arteta’s high-flying Gunners which has been rewarded by Tite this winter


Brazil is set to take on the rest of the world at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in just a little over a week as the five-time winners look to get back to their best on the global stage after failing to win the tournament in the last twenty years.

Top boss Tite named his 26-man-squad he is set to put his faith, and that of an entire nation, on with national star Neymar leading the charge as expected as Brazil comes into the tournament as the bookies’ favorite to stand tallest come December.

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But one potential surprise call-up came in the vein of Arsenal starlet Gabriel Martinelli, though you would not find many in the Gunners camp feel as though it is in no way more than he deserves.

Martinelli has been one of the leading lights for Mikel Arteta’s table-topping outfit and is now viewed as a key asset on the left side of the Gunners’ front three along with summer signing and Brazil team-mate Gabriel Jesus.

For Martinelli, it was a dream come true, one that made him speechless.

“I was at my house with my friend...my family is in Brazil but I was on the phone with them. When I heard my name I couldn’t even talk. I cried for one hour. I couldn’t even talk. I needed to turn off the phone and call them later cause I was so, so happy.”

Known for boasting some of the most gifted attacking players anywhere in the world, in Martinelli, it is not just technical craft that the Seleção can count on, but a desire to work that is potentially unmatched anywhere in the forward line.

There is no guarantee that he will be called upon by Tite during hostilities in Qatar given the wealth of attacking talent among the squad, but the sheer notion that he is fully being recognized for his contributions at club level is wonderful to see for the player, and for Arsenal as a whole.


Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.



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