The 24-year-old grew up in the favelas of Sao Paulo, saying he witnessed deaths and robberies during his childhood.
However, Gabriel says he uses those hardships as motivation to strive for greatness every single day with the Premier League club.
"You go back a bit, you see what happened, you see what the family went through and that gives you the strength to go back to playing to your high standards in a club where you must be at your best, where you must always be willing to show your potential every day," Gabriel told Arsenal's official website.
"So I think these things I went through back then give me great strength to be able to be a great player. I want to become one of the best defenders in the world."