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Arsenal star Martinelli receives first Brazil call-up as Neymar returns for upcoming 2022 World Cup qualifiers

17:10 GMT 11/03/2022
Gabriel Martinelli Brazil
The forward is one of two Gunners to receive a call-up alongside defender Gabriel Magalhaes

Arsenal star Gabriel Martinelli has been rewarded with his first call-up for the Brazil senior national team, who also welcome back Neymar to the fold.

The Selecao see out their final two scheduled 2022 World Cup qualifiers in March against Chile and Bolivia, with their place in Qatar already secured.

Their pending clash against Argentina is still to be scheduled after being suspended shortly after kick-off last year.

Gunning for the World Cup

Martinelli, 20, forms part of a 25-man squad that was confirmed by coach Tite on Friday ahead of the upcoming qualifying double-header.

It is his maiden call to the senior set-up, although he did play for Brazil's Under-23 side during their successful quest for Olympic gold in Tokyo in 2021.

Gabriel, who is joined by fellow Gunner Gabriel Magalhaes in the squad, additionally joined up with the Selecao while still at Ituano in 2019 to put the national team through their paces as a training partner prior to their Copa America victory on home soil.

Magalhaes was called up in January but did not make his senior international bow, and has previously represented Brazil at U20 and U23 levels.

March's matches will be one of the final opportunities for Brazil's hopefuls to convince Tite they merit a place in Qatar, amid fierce competition for spots - especially in attack, where the nation enjoys an abundance of talent.

Neymar returns

Paris Saint-Germain ace and former national team captain Neymar is back in the Brazil squad, having missed out on January's qualifiers through injury.

The forward is the Selecao's second-highest goalscorer of all time behind Pele, with 70 strikes, but failed to deliver Copa America glory last year and is also under scrutiny for his performance in PSG's collapse at the hands of Real Madrid in the Champions League.

Everton's Richarlison and Madrid defender Eder Militao are also recalled, the latter joining Merengue team-mates Casemiro, Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo in the squad.

The Brazil squad in full to play Chile and Bolivia

Goalkeepers: Alisson (Liverpool), Ederson (Manchester City), Weverton (Palmeiras)

Defenders: Dani Alves (Barcelona), Danilo (Juventus), Alex Telles (Manchester United), Guilherme Arana (Atl. Mineiro), Thiago Silva (Chelsea), Marquinhos (PSG), Eder Militao (Madrid), Gabriel Magalhaes (Arsenal)

Midfielders: Arthur (Juventus), Casemiro (Madrid), Fred (Man Utd), Fabinho (Liverpool), Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle), Philippe Coutinho (Aston Villa), Lucas Paqueta (Lyon)

Forwards: Antony (Ajax), Raphinha (Leeds), Richarlison (Everton), Neymar (PSG), Rodrygo (Madrid), Vinicius Jr. (Madrid), Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal)

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