Brazil boss Tite explains Gabriel Martinelli World Cup call-up as Arsenal fans notice Neymar reaction
Posted by  badge Boss on Nov 08
The PSG ace appeared shocked by the Arsenal winger’s inclusion (Pictures: Getty / Instagram)

Brazil boss Tite has praised Gabriel Martinelli and explained the late decision to include him in the Selecao’s squad, while Arsenal fans think even Neymar was surprised by his call-up.

The 21-year-old has been in superb form for the Gunners this season, netting five goals and laying on two assists in the Premier League to help his side top the table after 13 matches.

Despite his strong performances, Martinelli – who has just three caps for Brazil – only appeared to be an outside shot of making Tite’s squad after being left out of September’s internationals.

But on Monday it was confirmed that the Arsenal starlet would be on the plane to later this month, with the likes of Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino and ’s Matheus Cunha missing out instead.

Martinelli will be one of the most inexperienced players in Brazil’s squad, with only Juventus centre-back Gleison Bremer and Flamengo attacker Pedro boasting fewer caps.

But despite his relative lack of appearances, Tite has full faith in the former Ituano winger’s ability and feels he has earned his place in the squad, with his direct running and ability to take players on a big factor.

Speaking at a press conference after naming his squad for the World Cup, the Brazil manager 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.

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Martinelli has been in superb form for Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

‘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 be competing for minutes with some illustrious names, with Neymar, Richarlison, Raphinha, Antony, Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo and Arsenal team-mate Gabriel Jesus giving Tite an elite selection of attackers to choose from.

As has become custom among Brazil’s players, many of the squad filmed themselves reacting to the announcement and Arsenal fans noticed that Neymar seemed a little taken aback by Martinelli’s selection.

The PSG star did not give much away as each name was read out, but when Martinelli’s selection was announced he raised his eyebrows and looked rather surprised, before giving a little nod of appreciation.

Footage of Neymar’s reaction went viral among Arsenal fans, with one tweeting: ‘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 star, centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes, who was left out of the squad despite a string of fine performances – including netting against Chelsea at the weekend.

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