Gabriel Martinelli Arsenal 2022-23

‘Nobody knows who he is!’ - Martinelli World Cup call-up over 29-goal Gabigol baffles former Brazil star Neto

  • Arsenal star given the nod by Tite
  • Flamengo forward among those overlooked
  • Needs to prove a point to doubters

WHAT HAPPENED? The Arsenal forward has been named in Tite’s squad for a shot at global glory in Qatar, with the 21-year-old forming part of an attacking unit that also includes the likes of Neymar, Gabriel Jesus, Antony and Vinicius Junior. Flamengo striker Gabigol, with 29 goals and a Copa Libertadores win to his name this season, is among those to have been overlooked, much to the disgust of an ex-Selecao star.

WHAT THEY SAID: Neto has told Os Donos de Bola of seeing Martinelli called upon: “This is a shame, a joke! I feel ashamed! Not because of Dani Alves' story. What is Martinelli's story? 33 career goals. This is a shame, a lack of respect for football. Doing this with football shows that you don't deserve the position you are in. Calling up Martinelli and not calling up Gabigol is a lack of respect. The biggest shame of all the call-ups. Calling up Martinelli shows that you, Tite, shouldn't hold the position you do, because you're not fair to Gabigol. The guy [Martinelli] who scores five goals in the season, who walks around the mall here, nobody knows who he is… And not taking Gabigol, the guy who scored the goal of the Libertadores title, who scored 29 goals in the season. What has Martinelli done in European football? Arsenal are not even in the Champions League. This is a calamity!”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Martinelli only has three senior caps for Brazil to his name and is yet to open a goal account for his country, but he has been catching the eye at club level – with five goals and two assists recorded for an Arsenal side that sits top of the Premier League table in 2022-23.

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Gabriel Martinelli Arsenal 2022-23

Gabriel Martinelli BrazilGetty Images

Gabigol Flamengo 2022Getty

WHAT NEXT? Brazil will open their quest for a sixth World Cup crown when facing Serbia on November 24, with further outings to come against Switzerland and Cameroon in Group G.