Emi Martinez receives a congratulatory message from Granit Xhaka of Arsenal after winning Copa America with Argentina

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Granit Xhaka is one of the football stars who have taken to social media to congratulate Emi Martinez, a former Arsenal goalkeeper who led Argentina to win the just concluded Copa America.

After Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 to win the South America football tournament, Emi Martinez who is now an Aston Villa goalkeeper took to Instagram to hail Lionel Messi and the rest of his teammates for winning the Copa America.

The former Arsenal’s goalkeeper wrote: “We did it for all Argentines, proud to be Argentinian, @leomessi all yours animal.”

In the comment section of his Instagram post, Granit Xhaka wrote: “congrats brother”. The former player of Chelsea who is currently an assistant coach at Aston Villa, John Terry also congratulated the goalkeeper via the comment section.

Granit Xhaka and Emi Martinez played together at Arsenal between 2016 and 2020. The goalkeeper had to leave Arsenal in the summer of 2020 for Aston Villa to get regular game time.

Just like Messi, Emi Martinez has never won any major title with Argentina. Hence, the Copa America title is the first title the 28-year-old goalkeeper won with the national team.

The rise of Emi Martinez

Emi Martinez had the toughest time of his career during his days at Arsenal. The 28-year-old Argentine goalkeeper served as a second fiddle to Bernd Leno in most parts of his time at the club.

Due to how he was frequently benched by coach Mikel Arteta, Martinez lost his place in Argentina’s national team. The Argentine goalkeeper was not happy about the second fiddle role he had to play at Arsenal. Hence, on September 16, 2020, he decided to leave Arsenal to join Aston Villa for a transfer fee worth €17.40 million.

Immediately he arrived at the club, the Argentine goalkeeper became an instant hit. In the 2020-2021 season, Emi Martinez kept 15 clean sheets and ended the season as the third Premier League goalkeeper with the highest amount of clean sheets.

His outstanding performance at Aston Villa made him the number one goalkeeper for Argentina before the 2021 Copa America kicked off.

Martinez performed so well in the tournament that he kept four clean sheets in 6 games. He saved four penalties including three in the semi-finals of the tournament.

Hence, his performance in the tournament earned him the Copa America trophy and the Golden Glove awards.

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