Saturday, July 13, 2024

Emi Martinez explains his bizarre penalty shootout antics

Emiliano Martinez insisted he was calmness personified despite appearing to be anything but during Argentina’s World Cup final penalty shootout win over France.

The Aston Villa goalkeeper’s astonishing rise from the fourth tier of English football to world champion will represent one of the abiding storylines of Qatar 2022.

Martinez produced two sensational saves during the quarter-final shootout win over Holland and was in justifiably confident mood with the spotlight firmly on him again after an absorbing 3-3 draw against the holders on Sunday.

The 30-year-old turned the contest in Argentina’s favour by first denying Kingsley Coman, before his gamesmanship played a part in  Aurelien Tchouameni dragging his effort wide of the post.

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Martinez had delayed the Real Madrid midfielder by hurling the ball outside the penalty area, forcing the youngster to retrieve it and extend his agonising wait to take a pivotal penalty.

As he did against Louis van Gaal’s side earlier in the competition, Martinez showed off some extravagant dance moves in the wake of an opponent’s failure but he insisted those histrionics are designed to give his teammates’ confidence.

He said: ‘I did my thing that I dreamed of. It is in this moment that I have to give my teammates peace of mind.

‘I could have stopped it (Mbappe’s penalty) too, I dived badly. But then I did everything right.

‘I have no words for it. I was calm during the penalty shootout and everything went as we wanted,” Martinez said after Sunday’s final.

‘All that I have dreamed of has been achieved.’

Shearer said: ‘He was trying to wind them up, he was kicking the ball away, he was talking to the players, he was putting as much pressure as possible on them.”

And Ferdinand added: ‘Even his movements behind the line, he was moving, trying to catch the eye of the person striking the ball.’


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