2024 Copa America: “I Saved The Penalties Against Ecuador Because Of Lionel Messi” – Emiliano Martinez Reveals

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    Emiliano Martinez has expressed that his primary intention during the penalty shootout between Argentina and Ecuador was to help Lionel Messi.

    Lionel Scaloni’s side played out a 1-1 draw against Ecuador in regulation time, with Lisandro Martinez netting the opener in the 35th minute before Kevin Rodriguez scored the equalizer for Felix Sanchez’s men in stoppage time.

    Ecuador had the chance to get themselves initially back on level terms in the 62nd minute, but ex-West Ham star Enner Valencia missed from the spot.

    Both teams went into the shootout with the desire to advance to the last 4 and after the grueling lottery of penalties, Argentina had Emiliano Martinez to thank, as his heroics helped them secure passage to the next round.

    Emiliano Martinez Speared The Blushes Of Lionel Messi In Their 2024 Copa America Quarter-final Clash Against Ecuador

    Lionel Messi stepped up to play the first penalty for La Albiceleste, but he shockingly missed his spot-kick, leading to anxiety growing amongst the Argentine fans.

    Subsequently, Angel Mena and Alan Minda’s efforts were stopped by Martinez, before John Yeboah and Jordy Caicedo netted for Ecuador in their 3rd and 4th takes.

    Following the earlier miss by Messi, Julian Alvarez, Alexis Mac Allister, Gonzalo Montiel, and Nicolas Otamendi all converted their penalties to send Argentina through to the semi-finals.

    Lionel Scaloni’s men triumphed 4-2 on penalties and they will battle Canada in the last 4 on Wednesday, June 10, 2024.

    They came out tops in their previous meeting against Canada in the 2024 Copa America, defeating Jesse Marsch’s side 2-0 in their opening group game.

    Speaking after the game whilst sharing his thoughts on the encounter, Emiliano Martinez said: “I owed it to Leo Messi, I owed it to him.”

    The Aston Villa goalie indicated that Messi has in the past saved them and as such, he felt the need to help the Barcelona great.

    Martinez added: “He saved us in the [2022 FIFA] World Cup, he won it, he was the best of all in the World Cup, and when things don’t go his way… he was coming off a very strong injury in his adductor, and I felt like I had to help him when he missed the penalty.”

    Emiliano Martinez Saving Argentina Time And Time Again!

    It must be noted that Lionel Messi also has Emiliano Martinez to thank for his recent successes in international football.

    Martinez was pivotal to Argentina winning the 2021 Copa America, as he produced several magnificent saves in the tournament.

    He also saved 3 penalties in the semi-finals, as Lionel Scaloni’s side recorded a 3-2 win on penalties over Colombia, after playing out a 1-1 draw in regulation time.

    In the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Emiliano Martinez also inspired Argentina to win the tournament, as he saved 3 penalties during the shootout against France in the final.

    He is also fondly remembered for his big save to deny Kolo Muani in injury time of extra-time, spreading himself to deal with the danger.

    Emiliano Martinez Career Stats

    Martinez, also known by the nickname, Dibu, has made 43 appearances for Argentina and he has kept 31 clean sheets thus far.

    Emiliano Martinez has made 260 club appearances thus far in his career, amassing 86 clean sheets.

    Clubs He Has Played For?

    The 31-year-old has represented several clubs in his career, including; Wolverhampton Wanderers, Oxford United, Arsenal FC, Getafe CF, and currently, Aston Villa.

    Emiliano Martinez Contract Details

    He joined the Villa Park side from Arsenal in the summer of 2020 for a fee of €17.4 million and his contract with the club runs until January 30, 2027, having penned a 5-year contract extension in January 2022.

    Emiliano Martinez Market Value And Salary

    Emiliano Martinez’s market value is €28 million and he earns about €125,000 per week at Aston Villa.

    Martinez’s Date Of Birth And Achievement

    Martinez was born on September 2, 1992, in Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and he has won several trophies in his career, including; 1 FIFA World Cup, 1 Copa America, and 3 FA Cup titles.

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