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'I love him': Joe Cole says Arsenal star could well be the best player at World Cup 2026
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'I love him': Joe Cole says Arsenal star could well be the best player at World Cup 2026

Pundit Joe Cole has lavished praise on Arsenal and Brazil forward Gabriel Martinelli ahead of the World Cup.

In a YouTube video with fellow pundit Peter Crouch, Cole spoke about Martinelli’s inclusion in Tite’s plans for the tournament in Qatar.

He thinks that Martinelli may not play too much in the coming weeks because of the likes of Neymar, but he could be the star of the next World Cup.

Brazil have huge attacking options and that is one of the reasons they are many people’s picks to win the tournament on December 18.

Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Cole on Martinelli

Cole said: “Playing for Brazil is the one. To get a cap for Brazil, especially as a forward, you know straight away, you’re one of the elite players in the world.

“The only one which was a surprise for me – not a (huge) surprise cos I love him, is Martinelli.

“I think that one there, they’re bringing him, but especially because they’ve got eight other forwards, I don’t think he’ll play much but the next tournament, he could be the star. Neymar’s getting on a bit.”

Crouch added: “What a player to bring on though, if you’re getting tired in extra time, bring on Martinelli. That could be a gamechanger.”

Martinelli has been in stunning form for Arsenal this season as they have soared to the Premier League summit by five points.

He will be hoping to get the chance to shine for Brazil in Qatar, but Neymar is the man for Brazil and he will expect to start on the left wing.

Come 2026, Martinelli will hope to be a Premier League winner and he could well be a key player for his country by then but he may well get an opportunity off the bench this time around.

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