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Martinelli opts for Brazil over Italy

Arsenal’s teenage striker Gabriel Martinelli wants to play for Brazil rather than Italy, although he is eligible to play for both countries.

The 18 year old was born in São Paolo, but qualifies for Italy thorough his father. In fact, it was because he had an Italian passport that he was able to move to the Gunners from Brazilian fourth tier outfit Ituano last summer without having to apply for a work permit.

Both countries want him to play for them, and, although he has twice appeared for the Brazil under-23 side, he could still make the switch to Italy because he has not yet played a senior international.

However, it now looks like the pull of the land of his birth is stronger and he will come down on the side of Brazil, who want him to play for them at the Tokyo Olympics next summer. They called him up for a pre-Olympic tournament before the football shutdown, but Arsenal rejected that call because it was in the middle of the season.

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