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Arsenal midfielder, Gabriel Martinelli, has got a call-up to Brazil’s 2022 World Cup squad. The youngster’s progress in professional football and most recently, under Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta, has not gone unnoticed. Former Crystal Palace and Everton forward, Yannick Bolasie has applauded Martinelli’s World Cup call-up. Through his Twitter account, Bolasie opines that Martinelli’s call up to the 26-man squad is a reward for hard work and desire to win great things.
At 21 years of age, Martinelli’s participation in the 2022 World Cup will be closely watched by pundits as well as soccer fans. The Arsenal player who dons the number 11 Jersey has been a regular starter under Mikel Arteta. He has scored five goals and provided 2 assists in 13 games he has played for the Gunners in the 2022/23 Premier League season. Martinelli joins his fellow attacker, Gabriel Jesus, in the final list of the Brazil Word Cup 2022 squad.
Brazil Head Coach Tite Explains Martinelli’s Late Call Up
This will be the second time Martinelli gets a nod from his country, having received his first call-up early this year. His first match for Brazil was in March against Chile and the second, also in the same month, was against Bolivia. Both games were CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifiers.
Considering that Martinelli has played only two matches for his country, the World Cup call-up is a huge honour bestowed upon a player who is only 21 years old, and especially after an 8-match goal drought.
Brazil’s Head coach, Tite, has sought to explain his recent decision of adding Martinelli to the World Cup squad. As reported by Football London, Tite admits to liking Martinelli’s aggressiveness in both transitional plays and in one-on-one situations. He had also termed Martinelli as one of the best Arsenal players, placed highly in the Premier League.
A Dream Come True for the 21-Year-Old
Martinelli will be the youngest player to represent Brazil in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. In June this year, the 21-year-old was asked about his World Cup dreams and said that he was doing all he can to make the cut for the Samba Boys squad. The player recalled a conversation with his father when he was 7. Martinelli’s father told him he would play for Brazil in the 2022 World Cup when he turns 21. The dream is finally realized.
Brazil currently tops the FIFA World Football rankings and the 2022 World Cup squad has been hailed as attack-minded. 3O-year-old PSG forward, Neymar JR., is at the forefront, supported by other top players such as Vinicius Jr. and Rodrygo. Midfielder Gabriel Martinelli will also play a huge role in the final third.
Martinelli’s call-up to the Brazilian squad is seen as a displacement for Liverpool Forward, Robert Firmino. Firmino’s absence in the 2022 World Cup isn’t the only disappointment for high-profile Brazilian players. Philippe Coutinho who had high hopes of starring for the Samba Boys in the Winter World Cup in Qatar is also sidelined with a thigh injury.
Dani Alves, who is 39 years old will be the oldest player in the Brazil lineup. Alves’s experience will be instrumental, especially in the backline as Brazilian remains upbeat about reclaiming the World Cup title.