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Gabriel reveals his biggest challenge at Arsenal & reflects on Brazil 2022 World Cup snub

14:47 GMT 10/01/2023
Gabriel Magalhaes Arsenal 2022-23
Gabriel Magalhaes has been discussing the biggest challenge he has had to overcome at Arsenal and his 2022 World Cup snub by Brazil.
  • Defender joined Gunners in 2022
  • Has impressed enough to earn new contract
  • Overlooked by his country for Qatar showpiece

WHAT HAPPENED? The 25-year-old defender linked up with Premier League heavyweights from Emirates Stadium in the summer of 2020 when completing a big-money transfer from Lille. He is now closing in on 100 competitive appearances for the Gunners, forging a productive centre-half partnership with William Saliba in the 2022-23 campaign, but admits that he had to overcome a testing start to his time in England in order to become a reliable option for Mikel Arteta.

WHAT THEY SAID: Gabriel has told ESPN Brasil of adjusting to the demands of life in England: “Arriving at a club like Arsenal makes all the difference and I'm very happy to be here. Playing in such a difficult league and one of the best in the world. Since I arrived, I've learned a lot and certainly at the beginning it was difficult, but now it's better. I'm well adapted. I understand more about the Premier League and how Arsenal play. That made it easier for me. The biggest difficulty I faced was the style of play, but I work a lot on a daily basis. I believe that I have improved since I arrived. I am very happy to learn more and more.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: While Gabriel has generally impressed during his time in north London, helping Arsenal to top the Premier League table at present, he was overlooked by his country for Qatar 2022 duty. He said of that decision, having previously sat out a triumphant Tokyo Olympics campaign due to injury: “I was definitely sad. It's normal for an athlete, even more so for having been in the group and then missing the last call-up. I had my family close by, and at Arsenal everyone talked to me. I have a strong mind and I'm a family person. I managed to digest that well, it's part of football. I'll keep working and I know there are other World Cups ahead of me. I'll work to be there.”


WHAT NEXT? Brazil will be freshening up their ranks in the coming months and years, after parting with head coach Tite on the back of a quarter-final defeat to Croatia in Qatar, and Gabriel will hope to form part of those plans as he continues to unlock his full potential at Arsenal.