Despite being named in the Olympics in 2020 with Brazil’s football squad, he has never been capped for Brazil at senior level. He pulled out of that tournament due to injury but he has since recovered to put up solid performances for Arsenal in the Premier League. Still, the former LOSC Lille defender was snubbed for the 2021 Copa America and eventually, the 2022 World Cup.
It raised questions about former manager Tite’s selection processes and although Gabriel was not a major talking point, the 61-year-old had to deal with harsh criticism over his defensive and attacking setup.
With Tite leaving the role following the Samba Boys’ exit from the tournament at the quarter final stage, Gabriel now has a path back into the team.
However, he has missed the World Cup of his youth as by the time the next one rolls round, he will be 29 years old. This fact, he admitted, saddened him. He also talked about how he bounced back from the disappointment.
Speaking to ESPN Brasil, the 25-year-old said: “I was definitely sad. It’s normal for an athlete, even more so for having been in the group and then missing the last call-up.
“I’ll keep working and I know there are other World Cups ahead of me. I’ll work to be there.”
He also spoke about how much playing at Arsenal has helped his game.
Gabriel has been part of a superb backline that has only lost twice in all competitions so far this season while keeping their conceded goals to a minimum, the second lowest in England.
The defender added about his time at the club so far: “Arriving at a club like Arsenal makes all the difference and I’m very happy to be here. Playing in such a difficult league and one of the best in the world.ince I arrived, I’ve learned a lot and certainly at the beginning it was difficult, but now it’s better. I’m well adapted. I understand more about the Premier League and how Arsenal play.
“That made it easier for me. The biggest difficulty I faced was the style of play, but I work a lot on a daily basis. I believe that I have improved since I arrived. I am very happy to learn more and more.”