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Arsenal defender Gabriel earns first Brazil call-up

FOOTBALL By Reuters | November 9th 2021
FILE: April 8, 2021 Arsenal's Granit Xhaka, Alexandre Lacazette and Gabriel Magalhaes REUTERS

Uncapped Arsenal defender Gabriel Magalhaes has been drafted into Brazil's squad for 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Colombia and Argentina, the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) said on Monday.

The 23-year-old replaces Benfica's Lucas Verissimo, who was ruled out of the matches because of a knee injury.

"It's a dream come true," Gabriel said in an Instagram post. "Being called up to represent my country gives me great pride and satisfaction."

Gabriel, who joined Arsenal from Lille in September 2020, has been in fine form this season as a regular starter in the heart of the Gunners' defense.

Brazil will meet Colombia in Sao Paulo on Thursday and Argentina in San Juan five days later.

Tite's men currently lead the 10-team South American zone qualifying standings with 31 points from 11 outings, six points clear of second-placed Argentina.

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