Arsenal's Gabriel eyes battle with Thiago Silva and Miranda for Brazil berth
Rio de Janeiro, March 23 (IANS) Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista has vowed to fight for a Brazil starting berth after receiving a late call-up for friendlies against France and Chile.
The 24-year-old was added to Brazil's 23-man squad last week after injuries to David Luiz, Marquinhos and Diego Tardelli, reports Xinhua. Shakhtar Donetsk striker Luiz Adriano and Corinthians centre-back Gil were also included.
Paris Saint-German's Thiago Silva and Atletico Madrid's Miranda are expected to be the first-choice centre-backs for coach Dunga, but Gabriel said he is ready to play if needed.
"There have always been a lot of options and they are players of the highest quality," Gabriel said on Sunday. "It's going to be a good battle. I'm here to try to earn my place with humility."
Gabriel joined Arsenal in January for 11 million pounds after an impressive 18-month spell with Spain's Villarreal. He admitted that he has surprised even himself with his rapid development.
"When I arrived at Villarreal, I planned to stay for two years and then try to make a move to another big club. I stayed a year and a half and now I have this chance with the Brazilian team. Things have happened very quickly."
Brazil will meet France in Paris on March 26 before taking on Chile in London three days later.