Brazil Coach Tite speaks about Gabriel Martinelli’s World Cup addition as Arsenal fans notice Neymar’s reaction
Brazil Head Coach Tite explains Gabriel Martinelli’s World Cup addition as Arsenal fans notice Neymar’s reaction.
Brazil manager Tite has hailed Gabriel Martinelli and explained the late decision to include him in the country’s World Cup squad, while Arsenal fans think Neymar was surprised by his call-up.
The 21-year-old has been in outstanding form for the Gunners this campaign, netting five goals and providing two assists in the Premier League to help his side top the table after 13 matches.
Despite his impressive performances, Martinelli, who has only three Brazil caps, only seemed to have a remote chance of joining Tite’s team after missing the international matches in September.
But on Monday it was confirmed that the Arsenal star would be on the plane to Qatar later this month, with Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino and Atletico Madrid’s Matheus Cunha missing out.
Martinelli will be one of the most inexperienced players in Brazil’s squad, with only Juventus central defender Gleison Bremer and Flamengo attacker Pedro boasting fewer caps.
But despite his limited appearances, Tite has complete faith in the winger’s talent and believes that his direct running and capacity to take people on have earned him a spot in the squad.
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Speaking at a press conference after naming his squad for the World Cup, the Brazil head coach was asked why he picked Martinelli and replied: ‘We like Martinelli’s aggressiveness. He’s one of the top players at Arsenal, the first-placed team in the Premier League.
‘He’s good in one-v-ones, he’s very rapid in transitions and he’s been playing at a consistently good level.’
Martinelli will have tough competition for playing time from some big names, including Neymar, Richarlison, Raphinha, Antony, Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo, and Gabriel Jesus.
As has become custom among Brazil players, many of them filmed themselves reacting to the announcement and Arsenal fans noticed that Neymar seemed a little taken aback by Martinelli’s selection.
The PSG player was tight-lipped as each name was given out, but when Martinelli’s name was called, he lifted his eyebrows and appeared astonished before nodding slightly in agreement.
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Footage of Neymar’s reaction went viral among Arsenal supporters, one tweeted: ‘Martinelli is coming for his spot soon, that’s why [he looks shocked].’
Another said: ‘Neymar hearing Martinelli’s name before his name made him shook!’
There was less good news for another Arsenal player, Gabriel Magalhaes, who was left out of the team despite a couple of fine displays – including netting against Chelsea at the weekend.