Emiliano “Drawing” Martinez took the prize Lev Yashin al Best Goalkeeper in the 67th edition of the Ballon d’Or presentation at the Paris gala. It was a meritorious recognition to the world champion goalkeeper with the argentine national team in Qatar 2022 and which also won the same recognition at the The Best 2022 Awards, presented by FIFA on February 27.
The 31-year-old man from Mar del Plata took over the goal of the Argentine team in the Copa America 2021 that the National Team won in Brazil in 2021. He had brilliant performances such as in the three penalties saved against Colombia in the definition of the semifinal, in the duel that immortalized the phrase “You’re nervous, huh. You’re laughing but you’re nervous. Play dumb, I already know you. You like dancing. Look how I eat you brother, look how I eat you”.
Later, the goalkeeper trained at Independiente confirmed his ownership in the team led by Lionel Scaloni and reached the top with his notable work in the past world Cup in which he had providential saves. The most remembered is the one in the final against Randal Color, at the end of extra time, in an action that allowed Argentina to reach penalties where they saved a shot. Before, he had saved two shots in the definition from twelve steps against Netherlands In the quarterfinals and in the round of 16 he also had a brilliant cover against the Australian Garang Kuol.
“Having him here is a surprise. The fat man follows me everywhere“, he said with a broken voice when he met his father on stage, whom the organization had hidden behind the curtain. “I want to thank my teammates on the National Team, the Aston Villa coaching staff, for The important thing for me is to win as a group and my family; I have two beautiful children at home, my brothers”he added.
At one point, former striker Didier Drogba, who served as host of the event, asked for an end to the French boos in the middle of the speech, with the save against Kolo Muani on the giant screen. A wound that, evidently in France, did not heal. “They have to calm down the French boos, thank you”said the Ivorian.
Once there was silence, Back He recalled the epic final against France: “We knew we had played a great game until 70, 75, penalty, Kylian played a great game, lifted France, Argentina did very well in extra time, Leo put Argentina ahead, Kolo Muani in the end, it all happened so quickly, I didn’t even know who had kicked me.”
He was later interviewed by ESPN and revealed that “I didn’t expect it (to win the award). The cravings were there, but until you see your name you don’t believe it. When I see him (his father) it makes me want to cry. I did not know anything”.
“I’m a kid who talks a lot. The groups like me and when I enter the field I put on the role and I want to win, no matter who I play with. I am a very open kid,” she described his way of being.
Regarding the boos he received, he indicated that “there were outside and right here they asked for silence. It is normal to win a World Cup against France and it is fair that the two events were here in France It is normal for a professional”.
While his father, Alberto, told how he stayed hidden: “It was very hard because I’ve been here for two days and I’m around the corner and I couldn’t go out. Every day I greeted him like every day and he couldn’t go out.”
But the good work in the goal also influenced his merit. Aston Villawho last season managed to return to a European competition and are competing in the Conference Leaguewhich is the third Old World club tournament.
The finalists of the Trophy Lev Yashin were: Marc-André Ter Stegen (Barcelona – Germany), Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid – Belgium), Yassine Bounou (Sevilla/Al Hilal – Morocco), Ederson (Manchester City – Brazil), Emiliano Martínez (Aston Villa – Argentina), Mike Maignan (Milan – France), André Onana (Inter/Manchester United – Cameroon), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal – England), Dominik Livakovic (Dinamo Zagreb/Fenerbahce – Croatia) and Brice Samba (Lens – France).
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