Recently, Gabriel Martinelli has dominated the news after beating out players like Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino to make the Brazilian national team for the 2019 FIFA World Cup.
Martinez has made a name for himself as one of the Premier League’s most sought-after young strikers over the past several seasons, so his call-up was well-deserved. The youngster, who has scored five goals in 13 league games this season alone, has helped Arsenal contend for the Premier League championship.
However, Martinelli’s fate would have taken a completely different turn if Barcelona’s hesitation from a few years ago hadn’t occurred, according to SPORT.
Barcelona was one of the teams vying to recruit the athlete in October 2018 according to a recent story in the Spanish news outlet.
In actuality, Gabriel Martinelli had been brought to the Ciutat Esportiva to practice with the Barça B team by Andre Cury, the club’s then-South American market director.
The club could have signed the young Brazilian for free on loan with a non-binding purchase option once he spent a few weeks training there to acclimate himself to the surroundings.
However, none of the Barça B team members were persuaded by the attacker’s displays. Because they believed the young Brazilian player lacked the “required skill” to play for Barcelona, they decided against signing him.
Martinelli continued his time at Ituano after returning home as a result, and in 2019 Arsenal decided to sign him. He was acquired by the Premier League’s juggernauts for €7 million.
The Gunners’ investment has proven to be a steal as the attacker has scored 23 goals for the team across all competitions. He is currently preparing for his first World Cup in an effort to bring Brazil back to its former glory in this coveted event.