By Dan Critchlow
Gabriel Martinelli received a call-up for the World Cup this week, joining Gabriel Jesus in the Brazil squad for the tournament.
Speaking to the media afterwards, Martinelli started by emphasising how pleased he was, before explaining how emotional the call-up made him.
“I’m very happy,” Martinelli began. “It’s one of the most important moments in my life and in my family’s life as well – I’m buzzing, I’m so excited to go there and be part of this team.
“I cried a lot, I couldn’t even talk and I was with my family and on the phone but I needed to turn the phone off and call them later because I couldn’t even talk.
“I think it will be good for my career and to play in the World Cup will be amazing. I’m so excited to go there and I’m prepared for the challenge and I hope we will win it.”
Martinelli also revealed Mikel Arteta’s reaction to the news, and his words of encouragement.
“When I talked to Mikel [Arteta], he was so happy for me, said ‘congratulations’, and said ‘go there and smash it’.”
Martinelli felt like an outsider for a World Cup call-up, given he’s still yet to make a start for Brazil. The winger made his debut as a substitute in March, but he wasn’t involved in the last round of fixtures in September.
Yet Tite has clearly taken notice of Martinelli’s excellent form with Arsenal, helping to propel the Gunners to the top of the Premier League table.
It remains to be seen how much the 21-year-old winger will actually end up on the pitch with Brazil, but you wouldn’t write him off.
Martinelli has consistently risen to the challenges his career has presented him with so far, and this is just the latest test.
Source: Daily Cannon.