Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Martinelli on Arsenal’s evolution and Brazil’s Copa America hopes

Ahead of the Copa America, which starts in the United States on Friday, Gabriel Martinelli sat down with Spanish publication AS to reflect on Arsenal’s evolution, the team’s title credentials and Brazil’s prospects this summer.

Here’s a transcript of the interview…

On Arsenal fighting for the title and what was missing in the end…

Yes, we’ve been fighting for the Premier League title for two years now. We’ve evolved hugely, without a doubt. We have a very young team with a winning mentality and everyone wants to win and be champions. I think we have to continue doing what we have been doing up to this point. It is not easy to be champion in the Premier League, even more so if you have Manchester City or Liverpool facing you. It is very difficult to win in England, but all the teams are aware of our quality. They know what we are capable of as a team and that we can be champions. We are certainly going to come into next year stronger and with more confidence to try to win the title.

It is difficult to say what was missing to be champions. As I said before, we played against many high-quality teams. The Premier League is the biggest and most difficult league in the world. Playing against City and Liverpool, among many other teams, is not easy. You have to minimise errors. We always have difficult matches and whoever makes the fewest mistakes will be the winner. I think that next year we’ll be more confident in our group, to be champions.

On the effect of missing out on the title last season…

The team was sad. We’re a close-knit group, like a family in London. We wanted to be champions, but because of what happened this year and what we did last season, we have to wait now. We wanted to win. We are devastated for not getting the title, but we take what happened to us as a learning experience. It is a very difficult league, the most difficult in the world. Now we have to focus and work as hard as possible to win next year.

On Arsenal reportedly wanting to strengthen up front…

Everyone who plays for Arsenal, one of the best teams in the world, is very, very good. The club has to have the best players to have a chance of being champions. We have an outstanding team with many players of incredible quality. Edu and Mikel Arteta make the decisions regarding signings. It depends on them. The fans are happy when quality players come and improve the team. That issue is not our concern. We have to work on the field and leave signings to them.

On whether Arsenal can win the league and Champions League next season…

Yes, of course. We have a very young team with a lot of potential. Without a doubt we are going to grow much more. We are going to fight for all the titles, the Premier League, the Champions League, FA Cup. People trust our work a lot. Now we have to focus on winning titles.

On young players to look out for…

The club is very happy with the evolution of the kids who come through the academy. We try to give them all the help we can to make them comfortable. Everyone knows how difficult it is to get into the first team and to be a professional. They have to take advantage of the opportunity, but also be calm. Ethan [Nwaneri] is quality. The club has a lot of faith in him and hopes that he will be the one who can help us the most in the future.

On what it means to represent Brazil…

Brazil is my country. It is an honour to be able to represent my people, my family, my friends and all the Brazilian people. Wearing this shirt is a source of pride for me. It is a dream to be able to play for the Brazilian national team. Almost all children, when they start playing soccer, have the dream of one day wearing this shirt. I feel very happy and honoured to have this opportunity. Whenever I go on the field I try to defend our country in the best way possible and also help my teammates in the best way possible. I am very happy to represent my people.

On Brazil having three coaches in 18 months…

Yes, we had some coaching changes during this time of change. As players we know what it means to play for Brazil. People understand the mission we have when it comes to representing this jersey, regardless of the coaches. We know that we have to give our best to win the games. Of course, with different coaches, the style of play and the formations change, but we still have to give our best to represent Brazil.

On whether he’s met and chatted with new coach Dorival…

Yes, I had an injury that kept me out for a while, but I’m fine now. When Brazil came to England, they were training at London Colney and I was able to be with everyone. I was in the gym and was able to talk to everyone, players, staff, sports management…and I also met Dorival. He is a very special person, very group-oriented. People trust him a lot. Without a doubt, we are going to reap many fruits thanks to the work he is doing with his staff.

On whether Brazil’s new-look, young squad can win the Copa America…

We have every chance of winning the Copa America. Everyone knows the weight of this shirt, we are the best team in the world. People know the quality of our players. We have a lot, a lot of quality. There are many young players coming in who have raised the level of our team. We play in the team with the most history in the world. We know the responsibility we have. We come to the Copa America to play and win.

On playing alongside Real Madrid duo Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo…

They are high-quality players. In the dressing room we trust and believe in them a lot. We know that at any time they can decide a match. Even they are aware of the importance they have for the team, of the responsibility they have. People are proud to play alongside them. We have a lot of confidence for the Copa America because we have two bright and young players playing for our team.

On what he’s like off the field…

I’m a very calm person. I like to spend time with my family, with my friends, with my girlfriend. When I get home I try to disconnect from football, to do something with them, play video games, cards, etc. At home I just want to disconnect because I have a very busy life. I’m always between training camps, trips, matches…at home I just want to disconnect from football, relax and rest.

On his idol…

I always liked Cristiano Ronaldo. As a child I watched his games at Real Madrid. He is a player who always inspired me. I liked him for his mentality and for everything he conquered and continues to conquer today.

On whether we’ll see the best of Martinelli next season…

I’m going to work hard to make it happen. I’m going to do my best to get to Arsenal in the best condition possible. I hope it will be a year of many joys for Arsenal and for me. I hope to help my team with goals, assists, with good performances. I’m certainly going to do my best, I’m going to prepare a lot because it’s going to be a long season again. And, God willing, it will be a very victorious year for Arsenal and also for Brazil.

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Mentality monster.


“What was missing?”
“Well, we were short in 115 specific areas that another team wasn’t”


Agree! Have been really surprised how much negativity I have heard about him recently. I think there were lots of things that went against him last season. I still believe he has the potential to be one of the very best in the game!


100%. He has devastating pace, technique and a hard working mentality. What else do you need to be a world class player? Just needs to put it all together and I believe he will.

Frog In Ze Roim

What is soccer?


Good question. You’d think a sport where 99% of the time the ball is kicked with a foot would be called football.

Instead a sport where the foot rarely is used is called football. And hence Americans try to insist our proper football is called soccer. Weird!


Soccer is a name given to Association Football by Oxford students in 1880. It is the name that football was known by in England until about 1960/70, when the game became commonly known as football. All the old newsreels refer to soccer. It’s not an Americanism.


Stop using well-known facts to spoil a good US-bashing!

And please don’t mention that American Football is derived from Rugby Football.


Both football and soccer were used in England throughout all the 20th century. ‘Soccer’ probably died due to it being an upper class term. Can we think of a better name for American ‘football’?



Gervinho is Driving

I once read that the Chinese call American (NFL) football “egg hand ball.” And, yes, the sport seems to have evolved from rugger.




It’s also called Grid-iron.
At the end of the day you can call it whatever you want, but Americans will also call it what they want too.
I moved to North America in 1989 and I’ve gotten used to referring to our beloved game as “soccer”, although I sometimes refer to it as “footie”.
In any case “soccer” is the original name so you shouldn’t take offence to it or bash Americans or their sport about it.


*original short-hand name that is


It was the name Oxford students put on it. Football was used from the start by most people.


Football is obviously a game based around a foot coming into contact with a ball. Rugby and American football involve the foot on occasion, but more often involve the hand. But the object it comes into contact with is definitely not a ball. Handegg would be a more appropriate name. If some posh twat at Rugby school had been given detention rather than being told “What-ho, you’ve invented a new game” when he picked up the ball and ran with it, during a game of footie, the world would have been spared this nonsense.


It was obviously PMGOL refereeing that game when Bill “the egg” Webb Ellis picked up the ball and patted him on the back (instead of detention). Coincidence that Bill is from Manchester area? I think not…


Just an observation but I think Gabi from the year before was deadly because he took oppoenets to the goal line and cut back a lot. His pace and sudden sprint made defenders sitting ducks. It gave him lots of room to go for goal when he opted to cut back on his stronger foot instead of that move because the defenders didn’t expect it a lot. Last season, and I am guessing it was due to added pressure from Trossard, he went for goal primarily and unfortunately the defenders and keepers know he’s trying to curl it at the… Read more »


I think it was mostly injuries, starting with the one Caicedo gave him end of previous season, which took all summer to heal. He didn’t move the same way last season.

Johnny 4 Hats

After seeing what Kai did for Musiala and Wirtz, I have no doubt that once Gabby gets fit and confident, Saka and Martinelli are going to be an unstoppable force. S&M are going to whip the shit out of every gimp in the prem.

Trossard has been incredible too. What a guy to have around when your first choice LWF is injured / out of form. He’ll push Gabi all the way and help him unleash his true potential.

Martinelli could easily have as high a ceiling as Saka and Odegaard. And if he reaches it, we’ll win everything.


Vamos Gabi-gol!

A different George

“At home I just want to disconnect from football, relax and rest.” From now on, every time you watch an Arsenal game on television, they need to mention that Martinelli likes to disconnect from football. Maybe he and Ben White are in some secret club.


and then ask “does Gabriel Martinelli even like football?”

at least they won’t blame him for being ‘a traitor to his country’

Heavenly Chapecoense

I have been saying this boy will be the new RVP and our future for the CF position. Didn’t improve as I expected last year. Hope the entire world will see the coming season what I am able to see from Day 1.


What do you see in him that’s in any way similar to RvP? I can’t think of a single trait they share


C’mon, there’s so much…two legs, two arms, one head…

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