Gabriel Martinelli has seemingly committed his future to the Brazilian national team, picking the country over his alternative option of Italy.
Gabriel Martinelli is currently away with the Brazil Olympic team for the Tokyo games, but that wouldn’t stop him playing for the Italy national team in the future, if he wanted.
The Olympics is technically an u23 competition – or an u24 competition in this case, due to the delay because of Covid. Players are only committed to a national team once they’ve made four competitive appearances for their senior side.
Martinelli, therefore, remains eligible for Italy through his father, João Martinelli. Yet he appears to have already made his decision, which he revealed when speaking to the media in Tokyo.
“I’m Brazilian, and my dream is to play for the Brazilian national team, to win titles: Copa America, a World Cup, the Olympics itself now,” Martinelli said. “I want to win titles in the national team.”
It certainly always seemed more likely the 20-year-old would end up playing for Brazil. That’s where he was playing his football before joining Arsenal, and that’s who he’s represented at youth level, so he certainly has the stronger connection to them.
Until he makes those four competitive senior appearances, you’d imagine the rumours will come back every once in a while. But it seems pretty clear what Martinelli’s intentions are right now.