Was Neymar’s reaction to Gabriel Martinelli Brazil call-up a ‘good surprise’? Arsenal forward responds to viral video
- Gunners forward included in Selecao squad
- Questions asked of Tite's decision
- Youngster feels he deserves his spot
WHAT HAPPENED? The Selecao have opted to name Arsenal’s highly-rated 21-year-old forward in their ranks for Qatar 2022 despite some claiming that the Gunners starlet is undeserving of such a standing. The shock call-up certainly raised eyebrows in the Neymar household, as the Paris Saint-Germain superstar was caught on camera at the time of a squad announcement, but Martinelli hopes that an illustrious colleague is happy to have him on board.
WHAT THEY SAID: Martinelli told reporters when asked about the reaction of his iconic teammate to his selection: “I hope it was a good surprise. Neymar is a hero of mine, he's a guy all the youngsters look up to and I'm no different. It's a pleasure to be here playing with him.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: There have been suggestions that Martinelli has not done enough to earn a shot at global glory in the Middle East, with Flamengo striker Gabigol considered to be more deserving of an attacking berth in Tite’s plans, but the young winger does have five goals and two assists to his name this season. Martinelli said of his form: “My season is going well, we (Arsenal) are on the top of the Premier League, we are doing well there, and I am confident. I don't pay much attention to people that don't know me, that don't know how hard I work. I just have to focus on football, listen to my family and the people close to me. That's what's most important to me.”
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WHAT NEXT? Brazil, who are looking to chase down a sixth global crown, will open their 2022 World Cup campaign against Serbia on Thursday, before going on to face Switzerland and Cameroon in their other Group G fixtures.