23yo hopes Arsenal will release him for Olympics

Gabriel Magalhaes in training with Arsenal (Photo via Arsenal on Twitter)
Gabriel Magalhaes in training with Arsenal (Photo via Arsenal on Twitter)

Gabriel Magalhaes is hoping that Arsenal will agree to release him for the Olympic Games this summer, if he earns a place in the Brazil squad for the event.

Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League - Emirates Stadium Arsenal's Gabriel Magalhaes celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Copyright: Catherine Ivill
Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers – Premier League – Emirates Stadium Arsenal’s Gabriel Magalhaes celebrates scoring his side’s first goal of the game during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Copyright: Catherine Ivill

Gabriel Magalhaes and Gabriel Martinelli are currently with the Brazil Olympic squad for the latest international break between May 31st and June 8th. It’s not confirmed just yet, but they’re likely to be called up for the actual Olympics later in the summer as well.

But unlike most other major international tournaments, Arsenal aren’t technically required to release players for the Olympics. The games don’t fall on official FIFA international dates, so Brazil would have to negotiate the players’ release with Arsenal.

Speaking to the Brazilian media, Gabriel seemed hopeful that the Gunners would release him if he gets the call-up.

“I believe that at the right time and in case of a summons, CBF and Arsenal will talk and reach an agreement,” Gabriel said (via Globo Esporte). “At the moment I want to keep my head centered on these friendlies and preparation to guarantee a place in the Olympics.”

As for the prospect of representing his country at the games, Gabriel was undoubtedly excited by the idea.

“A dream. That’s the word to describe this possibility,” Gabriel continued. “Representing the green and yellow shirt is always a source of pride and pleasure. Without a doubt it is a dream and also a goal.

“The generation that won in 2016 will be remembered forever. I hope to be able to write my name in history too.”

On Saturday, 3rd June, the Brazil Olympic team will play a friendly against Cape Verde, before facing Serbia on the 8th. Both games will be played in Belgrade.

After that, we shouldn’t have to wait too long to learn the final squad for the tournament and find out whether Arsenal plan to let their two Gabriels go.

Football at the Olympics starts on July 21st and concludes on August 7th, so though it wouldn’t directly conflict with any competitive Arsenal matches, it would mean a very late return back to North London if Brazil made a run.