'They didn't want me' - Arsenal star Martinelli reflects on failed trial with Barcelona and reveals Fati friendship

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Gabriel Martinelli of Arsenal
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Gabriel Martinelli has opened up about his short spell with Barcelona's academy before he signed with Arsenal, revealing a friendship with Ansu Fati.
  • Initially failed to land dream European move
  • Eventually joined the Gunners
  • Now a star for club and country

WHAT HAPPENED? The 21-year-old was rejected by both Manchester United and Barcelona while still a teenager before Arsenal finally gave him a shot, signing him from Ituano for £6 million in 2019. Their faith has since been rewarded, with Martinelli developing into a key part of Mikel Arteta's plans.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking recently with The Players' Tribune, he said: “I went to La Masia in Barcelona. I practised with Ansu Fati when I went there. We became friends and I stayed there for 15 days.

"Then it didn't work out either, they didn't want me. But four or five months later Arsenal signed me.”

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Martinelli has started in every Premier League game this season – scoring five times and providing two assists – helping push the Gunners to the top of the division.


Ansu Fati La Masia

La Liga

Gabriel Martinelli of Arsenal 2022-23

Gabriel Martinelli brazil

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WHAT NEXT FOR MARTINELLI? The Brazilian's form has been so good, he was selected to play in Qatar 2022 and so will hope to return to England in late December as a World Cup winner.