Gabriel Martinelli making Brazil World Cup squad a ‘joke’ and ‘lack of respect’ – pundit

Jason Soutar
Arsenal winger Gabriel Martinelli during a match

A Brazilian pundit has slammed Tite’s decision to include Arsenal attacker Gabriel Martinelli in his World Cup squad.

Martinelli has been one of the best players in the Premier League this term with the Gunners top with 34 points out of a possible 39.

While competition in the Brazil squad is fierce, it would have been very harsh to see the 21-year-old left out, even if he does have plenty more World Cup tournaments ahead of him.

In 13 league matches this term, the former Ituano teenager has scored five goals and provided two assists.

However, Brazilian pundit Neto is not impressed and has claimed that Gabriel Barbosa, aka Gabigol, should have been included over Martinelli.

Neto has heavily criticised Brazil head coach Tite for showing “a lack of respect for football”.

Speaking on Os Donos da Bola, Neto said: “This is a shame, a joke! I feel ashamed! Not because of Dani Alves’ story. What is Martinelli’s story? 33 career goals.

“This is a shame, a lack of respect for football.

“Doing this with football shows that you don’t deserve the position you are in.

Calling up Martinelli and not calling up Gabigol is heresy, a lack of respect. The biggest shame of all the call-ups.

“Calling up Martinelli shows that you, Tite, shouldn’t hold the position you do, because you’re not fair to Gabigol.

“The guy (Martinelli) who scores five goals in the season, who walks around the mall here, nobody knows who he is… And not taking Gabigol, the guy who scored the goal of the Libertadores title, who scored 29 goals in the season.”

Neto also criticised Tite for including Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus, who is going through a tough spell in front of goal but still heavily influencing games for Mikel Arteta’s side.

“What has Martinelli done in European football? Arsenal are not even in the Champions League,” he added.

“This is a calamity! How many goals has Gabriel Jesus scored in these last games? Oh, none. In the World Cup? Zero. In the qualifiers? Zero. He hasn’t scored in eight games.”

I don’t think Neto is too fond of Arsenal…

Speaking after Jesus joined the Gunners, he bizarrely called them a “small club”.

He said in July: “I saw that Gabriel Jesus went to Arsenal. Small club. Small club. Portuguesa Santista are bigger than them.

“Arsenal have won what in the last five years?”

Speaking then, Neto suggested that Gabigol is a better option for Brazil than Jesus.

He said: “Then Gabriel Jesus, who broke through at Palmeiras, five years at Manchester City, two years without scoring for the Brazilian national team, do you think he deserves to go to the World Cup?

“Or Gabigol? Who is good at ball? Who’s been scoring a lot of goals for five years?”

Arsenal host Brighton in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday before traveling to Wolves for their final fixture before the World Cup.

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