Martinelli had to HANG UP on his family after Brazil World Cup call-up

Gabriel Martinelli admits he had to HANG UP on his family after being called up to Brazil’s World Cup squad because he was too emotional… as the Arsenal forward reveals he ‘cried a lot’ and ‘couldn’t even talk’

  • Arsenal star Gabriel Martinelli has spoken about his emotional Brazil call-up  
  • The forward said he hung up on his family after making the World Cup squad 
  • Martinelli admitted he ‘cried a lot’ and was struggling to speak after the news 
  • He says he is ‘excited’ to play in Qatar and revealed Mikel Arteta’s advice for him  

Arsenal forward Gabriel Martinelli had to hang up on his family because he was too overcome with emotion to speak after being called up to Brazil’s World Cup squad.

The 21-year-old was a surprise inclusion in Tite’s 26-man group for Qatar, alongside Arsenal team-mate Gabriel Jesus.

Martinelli has been a standout performer as Mikel Arteta’s side head into the final pre-World Cup fixtures sitting top of the Premier League.

Gabriel Martinelli says he was overcome with emotion after making Brazil’s World Cup squad

Ahead of their clash with Wolves, the winger opened up on what the call-up meant.

‘It’s one of the most important moments in my life and in my family’s life as well,’ he said.

‘I cried a lot, I couldn’t even talk and 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.’

Martinelli has won only three Brazil caps and he was included at the expense of other attacking talent including Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino.

The forward said he had to hang up on his family because he was ‘crying and couldn’t speak’

The 21-year-old is enjoying a superb season with Arsenal to help them go top of the table 

Brazil are among the favourites to triumph in Qatar and Martinelli is relishing the chance to win his country’s sixth World Cup.

‘I’m buzzing, I’m so excited to go there and be part of this team,’ he said.

‘To play in the World Cup will be amazing. I’m so excited to go there, I’m prepared for the challenge and I hope we will win it.

‘I think my Arsenal form has been so important because if I’m not playing good at Arsenal I cannot be called up and that’s why I’m there because I’m doing well with the club.’

Brazil boss Tite has a raft of attacking choices in his 26-man squad, including Gabriel Jesus

Martinelli has defended his call-up to the Brazil World Cup squad despite criticism from ex-Brazil star Neto (right)

He added: ‘When I talked to Mikel, he was so happy for me, said congratulations, and said: “Go there and smash it”.’

But Tite’s selection has prompted some criticism back home, with former Brazil international Neto claiming Martinelli’s inclusion is a ‘joke’ and shows a ‘lack of respect’ for football.

Martinelli responded: ‘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.’

Brazil’s 26-Man World Cup Squad 

Goalkeepers: Alisson (Liverpool), Ederson (Manchester City), Weverton (Palmeiras)

Defenders: Dani Alves (UNAM), Danilo (Juventus), Alex Sandro (Juventus), Alex Telles (Sevilla), Bremer (Juventus), Eder Militao (Real Madrid), Marquinhos (PSG), Thiago Silva (Chelsea)

Midfielders: Casemiro (Manchester United), Everton Ribeiro (Flamengo), Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle), Fabinho (Liverpool), Fred (Manchester United), Lucas Paqueta (West Ham)

Forwards: Antony (Manchester United), Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal), Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal), Neymar (PSG), Pedro (Flamengo), Raphinha (Barcelona), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Richarlison (Tottenham Hotspur), Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid).

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