Former Gunner sings praises of Arsenal’s Brazilians

Arsenal’s Gabriel Jesus celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match between Luton Town and Arsenal at Kenilworth Road in Luton, north of London on December 5, 2023. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Arsenal’s recent resurgence is in no small part thanks to a Brazilian influence, with technical director Edu Gaspar running things behind the scenes and Gabriel Martinelli, Magalhaes, and Jesus starring on the pitch.

Former Gunner Gilberto Silva tells Daily Cannon he’s delighted to see his old teammate doing so well at Arsenal, as well as the team’s on-field Brazilian contingent.

“I’m very happy to see the Brazilians back at the club,” Gilberto said.

“When I arrived at the club (in 2002), Edu was there, and now to see Edu back at the club, I feel very happy for him. I feel proud of what he has done for the team at the club as a sports director, after a successful career as a player.

NEWCASTLE:  Darren Ambrose of Newcastle United skips between Edu and Gilberto Silva of Arsenal during the FA Barclaycard Premiership match between Newcastle United and Arsenal at St. James Park on April 11, 2004 in Newcastle, England. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE: Darren Ambrose of Newcastle United takes on Edu and Gilberto Silva of Arsenal during the FA Barclaycard Premiership match between Newcastle United and Arsenal at St. James Park on April 11, 2004 in Newcastle, England. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

“What I say sometimes is that the samba is back at the club, at Arsenal, which is great.

“They (the three Gabriels) are nice people, this is a good thing for all of them. They are hard workers, and they are delivering on the field, which is so important.

“This performance, the club needs from them, but they also bring their experience, their abilities, their personalities.

“And they understand the importance of adapting to this environment, the Arsenal culture, which is much bigger than everybody else.”

LUTON, ENGLAND: Gabriel Jesus of Arsenal celebrates after scoring the team's second goal during the Premier League match between Luton Town and Arsenal FC at Kenilworth Road on December 05, 2023. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
LUTON, ENGLAND: Gabriel Jesus of Arsenal celebrates after scoring the team’s second goal during the Premier League match between Luton Town and Arsenal FC at Kenilworth Road on December 05, 2023. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

It’s never an easy journey to become a professional football, but Gilberto argues it’s even tougher in Brazil, and you have to go through a lot to eventually reach a club like Arsenal.

“The competition is so high to become a professional football player in Brazil,” Gilberto points out.

“Imagine the culture with 200 million people and one third of the population wants to become a professional football player. You have to compete for one spot with many, many players. It’s so tough to become a professional in Brazil.

“You face a lot of challenges, but in the end, if you play for the professional team, the pressure is tough. Sometimes some situations are so aggressive in Brazil, when you lose the game, the fans go mad.

“They get so frustrated sometimes, they break the bus, they stop you, they have a tough conversation with the players, they go to the training ground.

“This is not good, it’s not nice, I don’t agree with that. But this is the environment we grow up in as a football player in Brazil.”

LUTON, ENGLAND: Gabriel Magalhaes of Arsenal passes the ball whilst under pressure from Jacob Brown of Luton Town during the Premier League match between Luton Town and Arsenal FC at Kenilworth Road on December 05, 2023. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LUTON, ENGLAND: Gabriel Magalhaes of Arsenal passes the ball whilst under pressure from Jacob Brown of Luton Town during the Premier League match between Luton Town and Arsenal FC at Kenilworth Road on December 05, 2023. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

As for how to overcome these struggles to make it at the top, World Cup winner Gilberto has some advice.

“You have to have a balance in your emotions,” Gilberto explained. “You have to face this challenge, be strong, perform, and get your emotions right.

“Sometimes you are alone. Sometimes you don’t have the right support, and sometimes you do have support. It’s important that we never lose what we are there for, the purpose of who we are, playing football.

“When we understand that, we can face all these challenges coming here in Europe or any other place and doing what we have to do.”

Former professional footballer Gilberto Silva is the newest ambassador for suicide prevention charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM). CALM stands united against suicide and as part of his signing, Silva will help raise awareness of rising suicide rates in the UK, which sees 125 lives lost to suicide each week.

1 in 5 people in the UK will experience suicidal thoughts and CALM is there every day to help anyone who’s struggling see that things can change.

To find out more about CALM, services or for support or advice, visit thecalmzone.net.

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