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Martinelli named in Brazil World Cup squad for first time

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – Brazil coach Tite called up uncapped Arsenal striker Gabriel Martinelli for the first time on Friday for the last two World Cup qualifying matches at the end of the month.

The squad did not, though, include Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus or fellow striker Roberto Firmino of Liverpool, who may now be at risk of not making the finals in Qatar in November.

Neymar, who did not play in Brazil’s last three qualifiers, returned to the squad.

Group leader Brazil, which has already secured a place at the World Cup finals, takes on sixth-place Chile at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on March 24. Five days later, the Seleção will visit Bolivia.

The Brazilian football confederation also said on Friday that the team will play five friendlies ahead of the World Cup against as yet unnamed opposition.

Arsenal’s Brazilian striker Gabriel Martinelli. PHOTO: AP
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