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"I will smash you": Arsenal 30yo vows to his teammates

  • Sports

By Dan Critchlow

Brazil’s forward Gabriel Martinelli (R) runs with the ball during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group G football match between Brazil and Serbia at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doha on November 24, 2022. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

As the World Cup in Qatar continues, we may be set for another Arsenal face-off as Brazil play Switzerland at 16:00 GMT on Monday.

Granit Xhaka is certain to be in the Switzerland lineup, as the team captain in a big game, and Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli may be involved for Brazil.

It seems unlikely either of the Arsenal men will start the match, based on Brazil’s last game. But they both came off the bench against Serbia, so it’s very possible they’ll come up against Xhaka at some point.

If that happens, the Arsenal midfielder has vowed not to go easy on his club teammates.

“We were joking before the World Cup to come here and of course, it is always good if you have teammates opposite you,” Xhaka said.

“But we are professional footballers and for 90 minutes, I told [Gabriel] Martinelli and [Gabriel] Jesus if you are running one-against-one against our goalkeeper, I will smash you!

“It doesn’t matter that we are playing in the same team. This is the Word Cup. You play for your own team, you play for your own country and you want to win. Of course, they were worried. They know me. If I smash you, it will be very, very hard.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 09: Gabriel Martinelli of Arsenal celebrates with teammates after scoring their team's first goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at Emirates Stadium on October 09, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Gabriel Martinelli of Arsenal celebrates with teammates after scoring their team’s first goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at Emirates Stadium on October 09, 2022. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

That’s not exactly what Arsenal fans want to hear, as ideally the trio wouldn’t be involved in any heavy challenges at all before they return to London. But you understand the passion every player has when playing for their national team.

This could be a key game for the eventual results of the group, with Brazil and Switzerland both having won their opening match. A win for either would send that team top.

As the World Cup takes place in a country where being LGBTQ+ is illegal, please also remember that “Qatari authorities have failed to investigate the deaths of thousands of migrant workers over the past decade, despite evidence of links between premature deaths and unsafe working conditions,” according to Amnesty International.

Source: Daily Cannon.