Brazil and Chelsea defender Thiago Silva believes compatriot and Arsenal forward Gabriel Martinelli could have a fantastic 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Martinelli made it into the Selecao's squad for the tournament in Qatar on the back of a stunning start to the 2022-23 club season. The winger recorded five goals and two assists for the Gunners across all competitions to help them reach the summit of the Premier League and the UEFA Europa League knockouts.
With Brazil boasting plenty of quality in attack, it remains to be seen if the Arsenal star will start at the FIFA World Cup. His club teammate Gabriel Jesus is likely to lead the line alongside Neymar Jr., with Raphinha and Antony also competing for a starting berth.
However, Silva, who will lead the team, feels Martinelli has what it takes to succeed on the biggest stage of international football. He also praised the forward's relationship with Jesus and told the Mirror:
“You can see the connection they’ve had this season with Arsenal - it’s a big reason why they're top of the Premier League. Jesus, we’ve known about his quality for a long time, but Martinelli is really showing what he’s about.”
The veteran centre-back continued:
“He’s playing without fear and, if he gets the chance to play, I don't think it will faze him and he’ll just do what we know he can do. I think all attacking players at the top level need that little bit of arrogance - that they know they can do something special - and he has that.”
This will be Martinelli's first appearance at a FIFA World Cup. He has won only three caps for Brazil so far, playing 78 minutes across those games, and is yet to register a goal or an assist.
Brazil will kick off their 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign against Serbia
Brazil are one of the top teams yet to kick a ball at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. However, their wait to join the action will come to an end on Thursday (November 24) when they take on Serbia in a Group G clash.
Tite's men will be firm favorites heading into the game, but will know that they cannot be complacent. Argentina and Germany have already suffered shock defeats to teams they were expected to beat, showcasing the unpredictability of this year's World Cup.
Serbia notably boast a decent side led by Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic and Juventus forward Dusan Vlahovic. They also have the likes of Dusan Tadic and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic in their ranks.