The performance of Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez in the just concluded Fifa World Cup has got many people talking as they now say “some heroes wear gloves.” Before the match, it was all about Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe, but by the end, another name was on everyone’s lips, the name Emiliano Martinez.
Emiliano Martinez, the Hero wearing Gloves
After an enthralling, twisting, turning and emotionally draining 120 minutes after they played a 3-3 draw, the game was forced to penalties and that was when the goalkeeper showed his skills. While Argentina’s takers did their job by calmly converting all four of their spot-kicks, Martinez was able to step up to break French hearts.
Mbappe had scored two penalties in the game so there was little surprise he converted France’s first of the shootout, although Martinez was not far off getting a hand to it. From then on, the former Arsenal goalkeeper took centre stage. He went the right way again to deny Kingsley Coman before the mind games were ramped up to further unsettle the French players.
As Real Madrid star Aurelien Tchouameni walked up for his turn, perhaps already feeling the weight of expectation, Martinez rolled the ball away from the Frenchman forcing him to have to walk over to collect it.
There is a word for such antics by Martinez that can’t be stated here, but they had the desired effect as the 22-year-old Tchouameni dragged his penalty wide, prompting a dance reminiscent of Alan Pardew’s mesmerising moves in Crystal Palace’s 2016 FA Cup final against Manchester United.
After the game the goalkeeper was asked about how he felt and also about his dance, he said: “I have no words for it. I was calm during the penalty shootout and everything went as we wanted.” And when asked about how he feels about winning the World Cup he said: “All that I have dreamed of has been achieved.”