Exploring the meaning behind new shark fin celebration of Gabriel Martinelli

Gabriel Martinelli‘s rise at Arsenal has been truly remarkable, from young prospect to unmissable starter, his journey is what every youngster dreams of.

After a few sporadic appearances, the Brazilian firmly announced himself to the Arsenal faithful through a blistering solo goal against rivals Chelsea back in 2020.

The excitement around the 21-year-old has persisted ever since, and under Mikel Arteta, he looks like the real deal.

Much like other Arsenal youngsters, the Spaniard has aided Martinelli’s development massively, turning him into a rather prolific forward.

The Brazil International has notched up 9 G/A in 16 games, all while giving frequent displays of his rapid pace and trickery.

With the world at his feet, Martinelli has all the tools to become a superstar.

However, even his fondest admirers have found his goal celebrations to be underwhelming.

On most occasions, the forward simply runs about emphatically after scoring, culminating in a standard knee slide.

It certainly gets the job done, but lacks the required aesthetics.

Despite packing plenty of personality within his style of play the celebrations remain the opposite, leaving plenty of room for improvement.

And fortunately, the Brazilian looks to have heeded the feedback.

First debuted against West Ham, Martinelli now has his very own signature celebration.

Far from a complex manoeuvre, the celebration sees the Brazilian align the side of his palm right along the middle of his face.

The shark-fin-like gesture is accompanied by a look of poise on his face, in summary, it’s cold.

The meaning behind the celebration is a close-guided secret, as stated by Martinelli himself in an interview.

When asked about it, the Brazilian said “It’s a thing between our friends here at Arsenal. I can’t say (what it means).”

The meaning likely relates to an inside joke between the Gunners, one which the forward isn’t too keen on revealing. Where’s the Amazon filming crew when you need em?

According to a fan theory, the gesture could also be a hint at the impending arrival of Mykhaylo Mudryk.

The Shakhtar forward is said to be a step away from joining the Gunners and has previously dropped subtle hints about his fondness for the side.

The 21-year-old is known to be a massive fan of the Japanese Anime ‘Naruto’, he even has a tattoo of a character from the show on his arm.

How does all this relate to the celebration?

Well, all the ninjas present in the show tap into the mystical arts during combat, also known as ‘jutsu’.

Every character looks to have a distinct hand gesture to go along with their ‘jutsu’, and among those, is this gesture used by Naruto’s rival Sasuke.

The character aligns his palm along the centre of his face, which bears an obvious resemblance to Martinelli’s brand-new celebration.

And naturally, fans are convinced that this is no mere coincidence.

The popular theory suggests that the Brazilian is subtly laying down the gauntlet for Mudryk, as both players would compete for the left-wing spot on Arteta’s side.

Much like the show’s primary protagonist Naruto, Mudryk is also blonde, and his future rival, Martinelli, has already assumed the role of Sasuke by supposedly using his hand gestures.

Is the entire thing a bit of a reach? Probably.

But with some specific elements lining up as they have, it’s difficult to rule it out entirely.

On the plus side, it’s definitely more fun this way.