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Arsenal starlet Gabriel Martinelli reveals that he was rejected by Barcelona

Gabriel Martinelli

Arsenal forward Gabriel Martinelli has revealed that he was rejected by Barcelona before moving to the Emirates Stadium.

Martinelli, who joined Arsenal from Brazilian side Ituano last summer, has been in excellent form in recent weeks.

The 18-year-old has scored two goals and provided an assist in his last four Premier League outings for Mikel Arteta's side.

He has already found the back of the net 10 times in all competitions this term, including braces against Nottingham Forest, Standard Liege and Liverpool.

But Martinelli could have been plying his trade in Catalonia had things worked out differently.

“Shortly before the Sao Paulo Cup I spent a few days training in Barcelona. I spent 15 days there," he told Marca.

“Barcelona invited me to train with them in La Masia but afterwards they didn't want to do anything with me, they didn't tell me anything. I went back to Ituano, I played Copinha and then I came to Arsenal.

“They were all very good [the players he trained with at Barcelona]. I took full advantage and gave my best. 

“To see how they train, know the structure of the club, the city... it was a dream come true. 

“I even trained with Ansu Fati and we became friends. He helped me a lot there and is now playing in the main team. He is a boy who deserves everything that is happening to him. He is super humble and welcomed me really well there.”

But despite his experience with Barcelona, Martinelli admits that his hero is a Real Madrid legend.

“My idol is Cristiano Ronaldo," he added. “I admire him very much for the strength of will he has, for the way he works and for everything... for the individual and collective awards he earns. 

“He is a guy who does not conform, he always wants more. That is what I want for myself: to always be conquering things. He is a great example of that.”

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