Watch: Arsenal’s Martinelli executes the filthiest piece of skill for Brazil

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Arsenal striker Gabriel Martinelli during their victory over Leeds United, December 2021.

Arsenal forward Gabriel Martinelli capped his breakthrough season with a call-up to the Brazil squad and marked his second international appearance against Bolivia with the filthiest piece of skill you’ll see all year.

Martinelli replaced Phillipe Coutinho during Brazil’s 4-0 win, where Richarlison bagged a brace and Lucas Paqueta and Bruno Guimaraes were also on the scoresheet.

The 20-year-old made his Selecao bow against Chile last week and impressed Brazil fans again with his performance in La Paz.

And one piece of skill made everybody sit up and applaud the audacity of Martinelli. In the 74th minute, Dani Alves pinged over a delightful crossfield pass that the Arsenal man controlled superbly with his chest before getting the ball out from underneath his feet.

One Bolivia defender came over to confront Martinelli but made a fatal error in doing so. Scenting blood, the forward produced a jaw-dropping 360-degree turn to escape his opponent’s clutches and set himself for his first Brazil goal.

Unfortunately, Martinelli’s dinked finish was inches wide but he’d more than left his mark on the watching Brazil fans.

Martinelli played frequently for Brazil Under-23s and was part of the side that won Gold in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

He’s now made the step up to Tite’s team and if he keeps producing and stays fit, should be on the plane to Qatar at the end of the year – where Brazil are favourites to win their sixth World Cup.

In a recent interview, Martinelli described the physical changes that have allowed him to enjoy a successful season at Arsenal.

“I arrived here [at Arsenal] weighing 68kg, today I am 75kg,” he said. “That makes a lot of difference to challenge for the ball. Of course you can’t lose speed, but I don’t think I did and I just gained muscle mass.

“You have to eat the right things too, that makes a lot of difference.”


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