Gabriel Martinelli’s call-up to the Brazilian national team for the World Cup 2022 was rejoiced by many fans. However, there are many that see it as a ‘lack of respect’ and ‘a joke’. Critics are doubting the selection process as ‘nobody knows who he is’ back in Brazil.
Former Selecao star Neto has claimed that the 21-year-old’s inclusion in Tite’s plans for Qatar 2022 is “a joke” and a “lack of respect for football”, with Copa Libertadores winner Gabigol, who has 29 goals to his name this season, among those to have been overlooked. Gabriel Martinelli has been in-form this season, starting every Premier League game for Arsenal. He has been putting up some of his best numbers to date and looks to be in sparkling form for the World Cup.
Speaking to ESPN Brasil after seeing questions asked of his selection, Martinelli said: “I think this is normal. Some people in Brazil don’t know me and it’s also normal to say that other players deserved to be there. But I’m pretty cool about it. I think this is normal. I know what I’m doing at my club, I know my ability and I know what I can do. And you can be sure that I will do my best for the Brazilian team, in whatever I can help the team I will help. It will be a great experience for me.”
Martinelli added: “It’s good for Arsenal to have players in the World Cup. And everyone was very happy, we are a very united team. There was also the call-up of Bukayo, Aaron, Ben, so we are happy for each other. We know that we are at the top of the Premier League, but this is just the beginning, and that we still have a lot of work to do.”
Brazil have a number of attacking options in their squad, with the likes of Vinicius Jr., Neymar, Raphinha and Rodrygo.