Gabriel Martinelli earns first senior Brazil call-up for World Cup qualifiers this month after being hailed as ‘exceptional’ by Mikel Arteta… with Arsenal teammate Gabriel Magalhaes also in the squad for the first time
- Gabriel Martinelli has been called up to the senior Brazil squad for the first time
- The 20-year-old has scored five goals in 17 league appearances this season
- Martinelli has stated his aim to play at the World Cup in Qatar later this year
- Arsenal teammate Gabriel Magalhaes is also in the squad for this month’s games
Arsenal forward Gabriel Martinelli has been called up to Brazil’s senior squad for the first time ahead of their World Cup qualifiers later this month.
Tite’s side have already confirmed their place at the tournament in Qatar this year, but still have the formality of hosting Chile on March 24 and then travelling to Bolivia on March 29.
It will therefore be an opportunity for the 20-year-old to show what he can do with the pressure off slightly, as he competes with the likes of Neymar, Richarlison and Rodrygo for a spot in the team.
Gabriel Martinelli has scored five goals in 17 Premier League appearances for Arsenal this term
Arsenal teammate Gabriel Magalhaes, 24, is also in the squad and another player hoping to make his debut.
Martinelli has scored five goals and registered two assists in 17 Premier League appearances this season and got on the scoresheet last weekend in the Gunners’ 3-2 win away at Watford.
He has become a regular starter on the left wing following Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s exclusion from the squad which led to his departure to Barcelona.
The 20-year-old forward found the net in Arsenal’s 3-2 win away at Watford last weekend
Arsenal teammate Gabriel Magalhaes, 24, is also in the squad and hoping to make his debut
Mikel Arteta was full of praise for the young Brazilian in his pre-match press conference ahead of Arsenal’s clash with Leicester this weekend.
‘Gabi’s playing a different position because Auba played more as a nine in his last few months,’ Arteta said.
‘He certainly has the capacity to score goals and be a threat in the final third. His contribution and all round game has been exceptional.’
Martinelli – who is also eligible for Italy – won Olympic gold with Brazil’s Under-23 team at the Tokyo games last summer.
Mikel Arteta has hailed Martinelli as ‘exceptional’ following the youngster’s recent displays
In 2019, he was invited to a pre-Copa America training camp but did not make the final squad for the tournament.
‘I get a rush every time I pull on that [Brazil] kit,’ Martinelli told Soccer Bible earlier this month. ‘It means a lot for me to play for my country and I always try to be my best when I wear that shirt.
‘With a world cup right around the corner – one of the best tournaments in the world – I want to go and play.’