The defender on his journey to the Premier League, via Flamengo, and how it all stopped when he had just started

Pablo Marí had arrived, or hoped he had. Fourteen years after leaving home, 11 since his professional debut and eight since his second – and last – top-flight match in Spain; three months after the historic trophy that changed things and one after the move that might change everything, he wondered if his moment had come and knew that if it did he would grab it and not let go.

Joining Arsenal was his fourth loan in as many seasons, his eighth club in seven years across four countries, three levels and two continents, including the team he never even met, and he had made 267 appearances, but something had started.

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