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'I cried - a lot!' - Arsenal star Martinelli reveals emotional reaction to Brazil World Cup call-up

15:21 EAT 11/11/2022
Gabriel Martinelli Arsenal 2022-23
Gabriel Martinelli had revealed he burst into tears when he found out he had been called up for the World Cup with Brazil.
  • Martinelli's first major international tournament
  • Sored five goals for Arsenal this season
  • Only made senior Brazil debut in March

WHAT HAPPENED? The Arsenal winger was perhaps the biggest surprise pick in the Brazil squad, with Tite preferring him over the Liverpool star Roberto Firmino and Flamengo’s Copa Libertadores winner Gabigol.

And speaking about the moment he found out he would be heading to Qatar, Martinelli admitted the emotion got the better of him.

WHAT THEY SAID: “I cried a lot,” he said. “I was with my family and on the phone but I needed to turn the phone off and call them later because I couldn't even talk.

“I'm very happy, it's one of the most important moments in my life and in my family's life as well - I'm buzzing. I’m so excited to go there and be part of this team.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Martinelli also revealed how Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta reacted to the news. “He was so happy for me,” said the 21-year-old. “He said congratulations and go there and smash it.

“I think my Arsenal form has been so important because if I'm not playing good at Arsenal I cannot be called up. That's why I'm there because I'm doing well with the club.”

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR MARTINELLI? The winger will be in action on Saturday night when Arsenal visit Wolves in their final Premier League game before the World Cup.