Former Brazilian star slams selection of two Arsenal players for upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup
In England, and especially at Arsenal, you would be hard-pressed to find someone that was being critical of Gabriel Martinelli at the moment.
Indeed, the 21-year-old has been impressing many with his performances so far this season, with the youngster having already been able to score five goals and provide two assists in 13 Premier League appearances already this season.
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However, while there will be many in north London and perhaps wider afield that have been left impressed with what Martinelli has been able to achieve, it seems that opinion and emotion is not shared by everyone, especially one individual back in Brazil.
After calling him into the 2022 FIFA World Cup squad, Brazil manager Tite has been branded a ‘joke’ and to have shown a ‘lack of respect for football’ after calling up the Arsenal player. Indeed, Neto appears to have taken aim at Gabriel Jesus, too, with the ex-Brazilian star claiming Gabigol should be in the team ahead of the youngster at the very least.
“This is a shame, a joke! I feel ashamed! Not because of Dani Alves’ story. What is Martinelli’s story? 33 career goals,” Neto, speaking on Os Donos da Bola, said. “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 a lack of respect. The biggest shame of all the call-ups.”
His criticism of Martinelli went further as he claimed he was unknown in Brazil, as he continued to compare him to Gabigol and his status within the South American country.
“Calling up Martinelli shows that you, Tite, shouldn’t hold the position you do, because you’re not fair to Gabigol,” Neto continued.
“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.”
“What has Martinelli done in European football? Arsenal are not even in the Champions League. This is a calamity!”
As mentioned, Jesus’ selection was without criticism, either, as Neto weighed in on the player’s recent form in front of goal.
“How many goals has Gabriel Jesus scored in these last games? Oh, none,” Neto said.
“In the World Cup? Zero. In the qualifiers? Zero. He hasn’t scored in eight games.”
It sounds like both Martinelli and Jesus will have targets on their back this winter in Qatar, but we know Arsenal fans will be feeling as though they deserve their place there and will be hoping they can show Neto just why he is so wrong to criticism them.