With Gabriel Martinelli doing better and better for Arsenal, the Brazilian media has been getting quite concerned about his future in the national team.
Despite being born and raised in the state of São Paulo, the striker has Italian citizenship, which would allow him to play for the country.
We’ve covered a few of his recent interviews in which he’s spoken about it, and now it was time for a chat with website UOL.
“I have Italian citizenship from my father, because we did it a little bit before coming to Arsenal. So I have the option of playing for Brazil or Italy. But that’s just the consequence; I have to keep working here at Arsenal, and only then we’ll see what lies ahead,” Gabriel Martinelli told UOL.
Martinelli has revealed he’s been invited to play the South American Pre-Olympic tournament, which is currently underway. But since he’s been having important opportunities at Arsenal, it wasn’t possible to join the squad.
“I said that if it was up to me I would play. But we already knew it would be difficult. It was a time when I was starter at Arsenal, and people preferred not to let me go.”
UOL explains that Martinelli has been surrounded by people who are close to the Brazilian national team. Arsenal director Edu Gaspar used to have a role close to manager Tite, and he’s been replaced by Juninho Paulista, who used to be the president of Ituano, the club were the striker started his professional career.
“He [Juninho] already called me, spoke to me and congratulated me on what I’m doing. I haven’t been called up yet, but I’m very calm about it.
“We talked a little after he went to the national team. He called me, said that this was the opportunity of my life, that I should give my best because things would go well. He was a fundamental guy in the four years that I spent at Ituano.”