WORLD CUP – Multiple attacks against MBAPPÉ or TCHOUAMENI: What are Emiliano Martinez’s concerns?
World Cup Final Champion against France (3-3, 4-2 pens), Emiliano Martinez quickly made people forget his prowess on the court due to his excesses on the outside. From his controversial celebration upon being awarded the Best Goalkeeper award to his multiple attacks on Kylian Mbappe, the Argentine goalkeeper is faithful to his legend. “Dibu” is a lot of trash talk and a lot of action.
“What surprised me with Depo is that goalkeepers usually train separately and are somewhat in their own world. Everyone has their own routine so it’s always difficult to understand a live goalkeeper. But with him…we knew from the start that he was crazy. A great guy, Funny but crazy. He stopped punches and behind them insulted us, talked to us constantly. He told us ‘take this’ during training matches. We really wondered who was this crazy guy who just got up.” Sergio Agüero’s memories are accurate and easily explained: the first meeting with Emiliano Martinez is often unforgettable.
Kylian Mbappe won’t say anything else. And the unlucky champion of the final, the Frenchman saw for the first time the Argentine goalkeeper come to comfort him on the lawn at Lusail Stadium after the Argentine victory. Before “Depo”, a nickname inherited from an Argentinean cartoon, he returned to his first love: trash-talking and provocation.
Since Sunday’s grand finale, it’s been a festival of bad taste but also a fairly faithful summation of Argentine football’s excesses: a controversial celebration upon receiving the award for best goalkeeper (he did the same during Copa America 2021, editor’s note), a student of Mbappe By standing a minute’s silence in the dressing room and then this effigy of the Frenchman, who had become an obsession for the Argentine doorman. This Thursday, while passing through his hometown of Mar del Plata, he explained the magic formula when Aurelien Tchoameni took his missed shot on goal… with the final conclusion: “He manipulated it.”
Argentine football program and personal software
However, Noël Le Graët’s complaints will likely remain a dead letter. First, because Argentine celebrations always involve an element of humiliation towards the opponent, and this sometimes distasteful ‘folklore’ is also part of football culture in a country that is lauded for its fiery atmosphere. In Argentina, one does not go without the other.
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Then because Mbappe’s statements at the level of South American selections acted as a motivating factor among the Argentines, eager for a form of revenge for the words that touched their pride. The Argentine goalkeeper was also one of the first to respond. “Playing in Bolivia in La Paz, in Ecuador under 30 degrees, in Colombia where you can’t breathe…. Europeans always play on perfect lawns, all beautiful but they don’t know what it’s like to travel to South America,” he responded.
Finally because trashtalk is an integral part of Martinez’s program. Listen to it, there is “Dibu” on and off the field. “It’s true that I acted sometimes… when kids imitate it…, I regret Clarin before the World Cup. But I can’t hold back on the pitch because I have the adrenaline of a semi-final or a final and that’s what I want to win. It goes to my head. Off the pitch, I try To be an example, I never make provocations on social networks. I’m not that person. I’m a hardworking guy and very humble to his family. On the pitch, they say I’m cocky and people who don’t know me might think so. But in reality, I’m a different person.”
you know what ? I’ll eat you raw
Perhaps it was this adrenaline of celebrating with a jubilant crowd that prompted him to provoke Mbappe yet again. But when he posted a photo of his arrival in Chile last January with a vomiting emoji against the Chilean flag, the adrenaline rush was still far away. An Argentinean angel, a demon to all others, Martinez quickly became an authority on the genre.
Before Mbappe, it was Yerry Mina who suffered from Martinez’s madness. In the 2021 Copa América semi-finals, the Argentine janitor put in a high trash-finding figure to destabilize the Colombian defender when he smashed his shot on goal. “You’re smiling but nervous, he fired when Mina was getting ready. I know you man, I know all about you. You know what? I’m going to eat you alive.” The sequel: A stunning rescue by the doorman and a celebration in all pictures.
A few weeks later, Martinez wrote to Mina apologizing for the inconvenience caused. His argument was understandable: not only was trash talk intended for him directly, it was also a way to feel stronger and therefore more confident on the ground. That didn’t stop the Argentine doorman from browsing this episode when dumping a burger at a local fast food chain. The advertising slogan accompanying “Hamburguesa Mega Dibu”? “I’ll eat you alive,” of course.
Career in the form of personal vendetta
This personality trait can also be explained, in part, by the roller coaster-shaped career path of the current Aston Villa doorman. Coming from a penniless family, he succumbed to the Arsenal sirens at the age of 17 for letting his father in particular buy him a car. At The Gunners, we still remember one of his first training sessions with the pros in 2010 when suicidal Nicklas Bendtner completely left K-O.
But his whereabouts in London are uncertain. From 2012 to 2020, Martínez has restricted loans in the lower divisions, at Oxford, Sheffield, Rotherham or Wolverhampton. “I cried a lot of nights, I traveled 200,000 km, I was in horrible loans, other wonderful and rotten places. I lived it badly, I wanted to go back to Argentina, give up football or leave my agent that I’ve had since I was 12” he said. for the first. But, deep down, is this certainty: He was made to be a leading role and promised to his father that he would one day be Albiceleste’s honorary doorman.
His time comes when Bernd Leno is injured with Arsenal in the 2019-20 season. The following season, tired of this sublime substitute role, he was forced to leave for Aston Villa. Since then, Arturo Vidal, Bruno Fernandes, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Wilfried Zaha have challenged his destabilizing penalty kick style.
His rise to the top was seen as a personal revenge, hence the need to always over-interpret words before matches. “J’ai entendu tellement de choses terribles à mon égard mais je ne pouvais pas répondre tant que je ne jouais pas, résumait-il à The Athletic. Je ne pouvais rien montrer au monde mais maintenant tout le monde voit ce dont je suis capable in the field”. outside too. So is “Depo” Martinez. Messi summed up the Copa América: “He’s a character, he’s a little crazy.” A year later, the situation has not changed.