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Name Gabriel Martinelli
Gender Male
Ethnic Brazillian
Job Arsenal FC Footballer
  Brazillian Footballer
Desc Jurgen Klopp was reluctant to be overly critical of centre-halves Joe Gomez and Sepp van den Berg after Liverpool’s 5-5 draw with Arsenal in October: ‘[Gabriel Martinelli] is a talent of the century!’. As well as being a composed finisher, the 18-year-old Brazilian is also an industrious striker, with Arsenal coach Freddie Ljungberg enthusing that Martinelli is ‘like a Duracell bunny’ that never gives defenders a moment’s peace. Ronaldinho, meanwhile, has compared his compatriot to Ronaldo and the first teenager to hit double figures for Arsenal since Nicolas Anelka in 1998-99 certainly seems destined for superstardom

Affiliation

Club as Player Arsenal FC
  Ituano FC

2019 08 08 Retrieve

[Real Madrid and Barcelona have also looked at him – with the latter having invited the young forward over to spend some time training with them in Spain] It was one of the best experiences I’ve had in football. Besides being one of the biggest clubs in the world, the level of training is very high and it made me grow a lot in football.

[Describing himself, the teenager said] I play as an attacker, but not necessarily a forward. I consider myself more of the modern style, with speed and a lot of movement without the foot. I really like Cristiano Ronaldo, because I also don’t like to play with my back to the defender holding the ball, as in the old fashion forward. But if I have to, I also know how to play like that

2019 12 19 Retrieve

[Martinelli reflects on Man Utd training sessions before Arsenal move] There was a project between Ituano and Manchester United, and they always took a player. And I always came for these trips. I could neither speak English nor French, but he [Pogba] said ‘tudo bem’ (a common Portuguese greeting) and took the picture with me nicely, he was super humble. Those training days were super important for me to adapt to the style of play, the players and how fast the game is here

[And the player himself admits that he wasted no time in agreeing to join the beaten Europa League finalists despite there being other offers on the table] I remember we played against Guarani, we won 2-1, and my agent called me. He said ‘you have to decide, so what?’. Then he said it was Arsenal. Then you think, one of the best clubs in Europe. I said yes, I couldn’t refuse. There were some approaches, but Arsenal came in strong, and I made the right choice to be here

[But Martinelli - who spent time training with Brazil’s squad ahead of the 2019 Copa America - insists he is yet to make a decision on his international future, though he suggested that it would be a ‘dream’ to represent the country of his birth] I’m Brazilian, of course everyone wants to play with that yellow shirt, listen to their people singing. But I can play for Italy too. I have nothing decided. Of course I want to play for Brazil, but I haven’t defined it yet. It can be one or the other

2020 03 02 Retrieve

[Martinelli met Pogba but Man Utd missed their chance when it comes to exciting Arsenal star] There was a partnership between Ituano and Manchester United which allowed me to go there every year, for four years, to train with boys my age or older. That was nice, because I got a first taste of what English football was like. I met Marouane Fellaini, Patrice Evra and Paul Pogba, and made sure I got a photo with all of them. They didn’t make an offer, so I returned to Ituano and kept doing my job there

[Martinelli spent time at the famed La Masia academy in 2018, but no deal was done there either] I went in November 2018 and I was training in La Masia for two weeks. I was not lucky enough to meet any of the players of the first team because it was the international break. I could not see [Lionel] Messi. Everything in Europe was new to me and I was impressed with all the things they had in these great clubs: the gym, the number of pitches