Brazil World Cup squad: Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus called up to Tite’s 26-man team for Qatar
Gabriel Martinelli of Arsenal has been included to Brazil’s 26-man World Cup squad; Roberto Firmino has been left out, but Gabriel Jesus, Richarlison, and Antony have been included; Brazil’s five-time World Cup champions begin their campaign on November 24 against Serbia, Switzerland, and Cameroon.
Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus have been nominated to Brazil’s World Cup squad, but Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino has been left out.
On Monday evening, Selecao coach Tite revealed his 26-man team for the Qatar tournament, which featured Tottenham’s Richarlison and Manchester United’s Antony, but Firmino was the most notable exclusion, with Martinelli, who has just three caps for his nation, selected.
Jesus, like his Arsenal teammate, has not been in a Brazil squad since the summer but has been returned to Tite’s World Cup group, which includes Manchester United duo Casemiro and Fred, Newcastle’s Bruno Guimaraes, Liverpool’s Fabinho, and West Ham’s Lucas Paqueta.
Premier League goalkeepers Alisson and Ederson have also been named, along with Chelsea captain Thiago Silva.
There is also a call-up for Dani Alves, 39, who presently plays for PUMAS in Mexico, but Arsenal defender Gabriel, who scored in the Gunners’ 1-0 win against Chelsea on Sunday, has been left out.
Firmino is one of four players that were called up to Brazil’s final World Cup squad in September but were not chosen for Qatar, the others being Nottingham Forest full-back Renan Lodi, Roma defender Roban Ibanez, and Atletico Madrid’s Matheus Cunha.
Meanwhile, Brazil were unable to call up Aston Villa player Phillipe Coutinho due to a thigh injury that would keep him out of the competition.
Antony and Guimaraes celebrate call-ups
Manchester United winger Antony posted a video of him celebrating his World Cup call-up with his nearest and dearest, as the 22-year-old prepares to head to his first World Cup.
The video was captioned by the winger: “Just for you!!! God, thank you!! Thank you very much… Friends, family, mother, father, and brothers!! I adore you!!! Too much feeling!!”
On Monday afternoon, footage of Newcastle midfielder Guimaraes celebrating in a similar manner surfaced on social media, with the 24-year-old sharing the event with his family and friends.
Brazil’s World Cup squad in full
Goalkeepers: Alisson (Liverpool), Ederson (Manchester City), Weverton (Palmeiras)
Defenders: Dani Alves (Pumas UNAM), Danilo (Juventus), Alex Sandro (Juventus), Alex Telles (Sevilla), Bremer (Juventus), Eder Militao (Real Madrid), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Thiago Silva (Chelsea)
Midfielders: Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle), Casemiro (Manchester United), Everton Ribeiro (Flamengo), Fabinho (Liverpool), Fred (Manchester United), Lucas Paqueta (West Ham)
Attackers: Antony (Manchester United), Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal), Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal), Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain), Pedro (Flamengo), Raphinha (Barcelona), Richarlison (Tottenham), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid)
‘Martinelli has forced his way in, but risky not taking Firmino’
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“None of them [Arsenal trio Gabriel Magalhaes, Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli] were in the last squad. With Gabriel Magalhaes, he was in the squad for a while without playing and I think it became clear that the coach didn’t trust him, or didn’t trust him enough, so his exclusion is not a surprise.
“Gabriel Jesus was always in, while Gabriel Martinelli has given the coach sleepless nights. I was with the coach two or three weeks ago, after Arsenal had beaten Liverpool, and Martinelli, in the coach’s words, was the best player on the field.
“A month or so ago, I don’t think Martinelli was in the squad, but he has forced his way in through sheer week-after-week excellence for Arsenal. It has been a very difficult decision. How are you going to get him in? There were two ways.
“One was to only pick one right-back and not take Dani Alves, who is now 39. That’s the thing that is getting most of the headlines over here, that Alves – now in Mexico, without a lot of football behind him – is still included. They could have left him out, used Eder Militao at centre-back to cover the right-back position and opened up a space for a striker.
“They chose not to do that, but the fella who has been left out is Roberto Firmino of Liverpool. Brazil are taking a little bit of a risk here. Martinelli is a wide striker and Brazil have more wide strikers than they know what to do with. What they don’t have is a straight replacement for Neymar.
“They won both of their recent friendlies very well, but he picked up yellow cards in both of those games. If he does that in a World Cup, he’s suspended.
“They don’t have a clear replacement in that false nine position. Firmino was their man, but they’ve decided to leave him out. That heaps responsibility on young Rodrygo to step into that role if needed.
“It’s not a surprise Richarlison is in the squad. He’s scored seven goals in his last six games for Brazil – he is their penalty area finisher. They have got plenty of players to build up the play; they need someone to finish in the penalty area and he has been the man.
“There was real worry when he limped off earlier this month, but Brazil’s doctor came over, had a look, and they are very confident he’s going to be firing on all cylinders come November 24.”
Brazil’s World Cup group stage fixtures
All kick-offs GMT
Brazil vs Serbia – November 24, kick-off 7pm
Brazil vs Switzerland – November 28, kick-off 4pm
Cameroon vs Brazil – December 2, kick-off 7pm