A few years ago, he was an unknown footballer for most of the fans, even for the Argentines themselves. No one could predict that Emiliano Martinez was to become the phenomenon it is today: the Best Goalkeeper of 2022according to the prizes The Best from FIFAand world champion with Argentina next to Messi in Qatar. His effort was finally rewarded and the Back enjoy a dream present.
In an exclusive interview with GOALwhere he was taking objects out of a box to talk about the most outstanding moments of his performance in the last World Cup, the 30-year-old Argentine goalkeeper revealed how he mentally faces penalty shoot-outs, as well as some details of his relationship with Leo Messi and who has the greatest respect for Kylian Mbappe.
When talking about the definitions by penalties against the Netherlands and France, where he had great performances, the Back Martínez He made his position clear:The pressure is on the players. And I compete against the other goalkeeper. In a game we are 11 against 11 but in penalties it is another game, that’s where my personality comes out. I like to talk. I always make fun of players who fail. That’s me. I’m not making fun of their religion or anything like that, I just need to distract them.”
In his view, the goal is to distract players whom he feels are less confident to execute. “It’s like a boxing match, I don’t have to let them hit me, I have to do it first. with players with Van Dijk o Mbappe I didn’t say anything, they scored the goal for me, it’s more with players who don’t have so much confidence. And that’s where the chaos starts and I have to put pressure on them. If they fail we have an 80% chance of winning. It is where the mental part of the game appears”, he deepened.
On the other hand, it is noted that he has a great relationship with Lionel Messiwho do you consider “the best player who ever played football” and from whom he tries to learn a lot in training. She chose to talk about him when she took a stuffed goat (GOAT, in English) out of a box.
“I think we all know that Messi completed football. He has won everything with Barcelona, with PSG he has also won. But something was missing from his career, which was a trophy with Argentina. The Copa América was a weight that he put on his back, he could not win anything with the country, and he did it after 28 years. Then came the Finalissima against the European champions and the World Cup remained. If he won it, he already had everything. After winning the World Cup, I think he has completed the sport. I don’t think there will ever be someone like him again in history.”, opined the former Arsenal FC goalkeeper, who currently plays for Aston Villa.
In addition, he gave some details of the relationship they have forged since they are partners in the Argentine national team: “There is a very good photo of him with me, hugging us after winning the Copa América and he told me that I deserved it, that he knew what he was going through. And after the shootout with the Netherlands, Lautaro (Martínez) took the last penalty and ran to the other side of where I was. I collapsed on the floor, I didn’t see anything, and then the first person to arrive is Messi to tell me that he couldn’t believe I did it again.. I just needed him to play like he was playing. He is a leader, who does not say much, just a 30 or 40 second speech in each game. Before the America’s Cup, he mentioned to me and to my daughter that she had been born in London, I couldn’t be at her birth. She made me very emotional, she made me defend him even more. I want to be the best and what other option than to train with the best of all. So I always try to stop him five penalties, because if I can do it I’m going to be a better goalkeeper..”
While, Back Martínez He also dedicated a few words to Kylian Mbappemainly about the controversy that was generated because there are photographs of him holding a doll with the face of Kiki during the festivities in your country. Although he was heavily criticized, the Argentine goalkeeper explained that there is no evil in it.
“He is a world class player, what can I say. He was fast. He was great, he was powerful and he scored four goals for me (including a penalty in the final shootout). In Argentina there were a lot of people, a lot of toys in the bus parade. Imagine that there are six million people throwing things at you, so you are going to receive a lot of objects. Obviously there were a lot of French or Dutch players (toys)… that’s Argentina and the fans trying to show it make you laugh. It was nothing more than that, just celebration, ”he clarified.
THE BEST PHRASES OF DIBU MARTÍNEZ WITH GOAL
• The group in the World Cup: “It was like a school trip, like when you go with your friends. We were 26 friends and the coach leading us like a friend. It was good to have the family there. 9 or 10 players debuted, including me. It takes you a game or two to see in the situation you’re in. It’s not easy at all, otherwise everyone would win the World Cup. But as the matches progressed we enjoyed them more and more. People laughed and we began to recreate what we experienced in the Copa América. Living together, we always said that we are not the most talented team, there are other teams with better players, but no one beat us as a group. We are the best group of all and we know it because we are friends. In other countries there are many egos, in Argentina we are all the same. It was an incredible experience. I don’t know if I’m going to play the next World Cup but this will be forever in my heart.”
• The photo of his brother in Qatar: “There is a very good photo that my brother posted on social networks in the stands before the game with Saudi Arabia saying ‘you achieved your dream and I achieved mine by watching you play a World Cup.’ It was a very beautiful image that made me cry and it is true that I promised him that he was going to be number 1 in the World Cup. And with winning it, I can’t ask for anything more.”
• The Argentine fans: “Argentine fans are crazy, they are passionate, they love soccer. They all love us, especially the last 2-3 years we’ve been winning stuff, they believe in us and we have a great connection with them. The coach found 26 players willing to die for the shirt. For Argentina, reaching the semifinals or the final is not enough, you have the pressure of the fans and history to achieve things. They always tell you that the first objective has to be to play all seven games and after Croatia we achieved it. Messi said it had to be this and you go to sleep visualizing it”
• The salvada at Kolo Muani: “It’s the best save of my career. I couldn’t enjoy it at the time because we then had a quick counterattack where we almost scored, and I remember being on my knees thinking about it, I wasn’t thinking about the save I made. And I never thought that it would be the best because the World Cup was not won. Then when you see the replay so many times I said ‘what a great save’. He was in front of me, with the ball bouncing, in the last minute of the World Cup. Nobody would remember her if we had lost the final. But by conquering the star, people consider it as a goal. Seeing her after a few months is incredible.”
• Work with your psychologist: “My psychologist is a very important part of my process. I started working with him when things were not going well, I wish I had started sooner. When I started with the psychologist, my first son was just born, I said that he was only going to do one more assignment and that he was going to leave everything to play more regularly. I set myself that goal and the psychologist helped me in the most difficult moments and also in the high ones. I played in a semifinal and saved three penalties, I went from 800,000 followers to 2 million in one night. I need to calm down to play a final and that’s where my psychologist helped me focus on the game.”