Tite hails Gabriel Martinelli as ‘one of the highlights’ at Arsenal after inclusion in Brazil World Cup squad

Qatar bound: Gabriel Martinelli was included in Brazil’s World Cup squad  (Getty Images)
Qatar bound: Gabriel Martinelli was included in Brazil’s World Cup squad (Getty Images)

Brazil manager Tite hailed Gabriel Martinelli as “one of the highlights of Arsenal” after naming the forward in his World Cup squad.

On Monday, the Selecao confirmed the make-up of their squad, with Martinelli joining club teammate Gabriel Jesus in a stacked attacking line.

The two will compete with Tottenham’s Richarlison, Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar, Real Madrid pair Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo, along with Manchester United’s Antony and Flamengo’s Pedro for a starting berth.

Arsenal defender Gabriel Magalhaes did not make the cut, along with Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino.

Martinelli only made his senior debut for Brazil earlier this year but has previously represented his county at the Olympics, making his inclusion ahead of the much more experience Firmino perhaps the major headline.

The Arsenal star, however, has formed a key part of Arsenal’s surprise Premier League title push, scoring five goals and registering two assists in 13 starts.

Speaking to Globo Esporte, Tite said: “Gabriel Martinelli’s role: Outward, winger, aggressive. He’s been one of the highlights at Arsenal, at the top of the Premier League.

“A player of individual plays, of transitions in speed. Who was with us in two call-ups, who’s been maintaining this high level.

“In this competition, we say that these athletes compete at a high level. Others could have been called up, and it would have been fully fair. And there are arguments for others that could be called, that’s also true.

“They are choices. Choosing an athlete that he is… within the characteristics of the team and the model, we need sharp players on the sides. Incisors on the sides. That’s how the team came together. So having these players, which is the case with Martinelli as well.”