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'There's no pause, it's about working'

Gabriel is approaching his second Christmas with us after signing from Villarreal in January 2015, but he’s not prepared to take his eye off the ball.

The Brazilian defender is gearing up for another busy festive fixture list, but says he has already come to terms with the demands of the English football schedule.

"When I moved to Europe, I already knew that England was the only country where you keep playing during the festive period," Gabriel told Arsenal Player.

"When I played in Spain, I got a few days off to enjoy with my family. But not here. There's no pause, it's all about working.

"We players can't think about partying, we only focus on our job. We are focused on what we have to do."

While Gabriel remains focused on the forthcoming matches, he does confess that his experiences in England are vastly different to those in his homeland.

"Brazilians are used to celebrating the festive season, it is strange," he said. "It feels a bit strange to be playing on Christmas Day or on New Year's Day.

"It's indeed unusual for us. But I've already put this new reality in my head and I'm focused on my job. Let's leave the party for later."

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