Former Brazil midfielder Neto has branded the decision to include Arsenal’s in their World Cup squad as a ‘joke’ and a ‘disgrace’.
Earlier this week, for their World Cup campaign in which begins later this month.
Brazil kick-off their campaign in Group G against Serbia on November 24 before facing Switzerland and Cameroon.
Martinelli, meanwhile, has been in impressive form for Arsenal this season with five goals and two assists in 13 Premier League appearances so far.
But Neto, who played for Sao Paulo, Palmeiras and Corinthians during his career and now hosts Brazilian TV show ‘Os Donos da Bola’, hit out at Martinelli’s inclusion ahead of Brazil’s World Cup run.
‘This is a shame, this is a joke,’ after Martinelli was named in Brazil’s squad.
‘This shows an institution that often makes you feel ashamed. I feel ashamed, not because of the Dani Alves story. What’s Martinelli’s story? What is the story of Martinelli, who has 33 career goals? This is a disgrace.
‘This is disrespectful to football and shows how dirty football is. This has already happened to you and me, Velloso [former Palmeiras and Santos goalkeeper], because we didn’t go to the because we didn’t play in Rio de Janeiro. If we had played for Vasco, Flamengo, Fluminense or Botafogo, we would have been in the 1990 World Cup.
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‘Doing this with football shows that you don’t deserve the position you are in. Calling up Martinelli and not calling up Gabigol is heresy, a lack of respect.
‘The biggest shame of all the call-ups. Calling up Martinelli shows that you, Tite, shouldn’t hold the position you do, because you’re not fair to Gabigol.
‘The guy who scores five goals in the season, who walks around the mall here, nobody knows who he is… And not taking Gabigol, the guy who scored the goal of the Libertadores title, who scored 29 goals in the season.
‘What has Martinelli done in European football? Arsenal are not even in the Champions League. This is a calamity. It’s the biggest shame.
‘How many goals has Gabriel Jesus scored in these last games? Oh, none. And in the World Cup? Zero. How many goals has he scored in the qualifiers? Zero. He hasn’t scored in eight games. So it’s not time!’
Neto also suggested that Martinelli’s inclusion in Brazil’s squad is a conspiracy to help boost the Arsenal winger’s value.
‘I don’t doubt that Martinelli will be sold by Arsenal, and how much will Ituano, who belonged to Juninho Paulista, take? And who took Tite to the national team? Edu Gaspar. And who is Arsenal’s football director? Oh, it’s Edu,’ he said.
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