Emiliano Martinez says his next “challenge” helps Aston Villa To end the 27-year trophy drought in Argentina, a central figure who closed his own long silverware wait. The 30-year-old said that one of the proudest aspects of his success is that half of Argentina’s children now want to be goalkeepers, while only describing himself as a “winner” who “give everything”.
talk over IT Sports digital audio file Mike Calvin’s Football PeopleMartinez complained that too many young players were entering football for the wrong reasons because he wanted to leave a legacy.
“I want to achieve something that no one else has been able to achieve or is difficult to achieve,” the villa keeper said. “And of course people were saying after the World Cup, after Copa America, that Emi would go to the Champions League and leave. And I think, yeah, that’s the easiest part. You know it’s easy. Going to a club that plays in the league or something.
“Everything seems easy. It was actually a real challenge for me. Winning Argentina a World Cup 36 years later. Yes. Beating America’s champions after 28 years at Maracana. Yes, it was a challenge. It was a tough fight to win against their champion. And now, 30 years later, we need something for Aston Villa? I don’t know how long it’s been 40 years? It’s a challenge. You know, it’s a challenge. And I was made for it – challenges “For the sake of not always finding the easy way out. And we have one of the best managers in Europe to win something. So I’m up for the challenge.”
Martinez thought about what winning the World Cup meant to him and said that what touched him the most was the young players who wanted to be goalkeepers. Number 1’s saves were crucial throughout the run, while their antics were a big part of the character of Argentina’s victory, especially in the penalty shootout.
“I touched the sky as my father said. Half of the kids (Lionel) want to be Messi, half of the kids want to be goalkeepers now. Frankly, this is a proud moment in my career. I always say I hate individual awards, you know, now With the FIFA Best (Goalkeeper) awarddoes not satisfy me. It’s satisfying to see that little kids are now trying to be goalkeepers because they love what they saw at the World Cup, you know? So no matter what happens in my career, from now on I will always be grateful for the luck I had at the World Cup.
“Obviously, you need perseverance when you’re young. I’ve always had goals in my life even though I’m very young. Now the young boy wants to buy a Range Rover or a Range Rover. Louis Vuitton bag, OK I want to buy a house for my mom, I want to buy a house for my grandma. And this is when I was young It’s something I’ve always had, I wanted to be successful for my family, I always wanted to find a reason why you’re doing this. Honestly, you should do this for yourself, but I think if you find the reason why you’re doing this for who, I think it will help you stay in line in your career.
“I was 24 years old, my parents, I secured them financially, I bought them a very nice house for my brother. Then when my child was born, I was doing this for them. You know, I always wanted to be on the line for them. I’ve given my all to go through the hard roads even when going through the easy roads and be sure what I’ll say when I retire. Even if I didn’t make it or I didn’t win the World Cup, if I wasn’t playing for a Premier League team, I would say I did my best.”
When asked if he was born to be a goalkeeper, Martinez replied, “No, I was made. It was me. I wasn’t born to be a goalkeeper. I was born to win.”
Because ever since I was a young little boy, I was born to be a winner and everything. Then I became a goalkeeper. I strengthened myself mentally, forced myself to play from behind. And because I played football at a young age, played Futsal, at such a young age I ticked all the boxes. But now I see my son only four (years old) and they are so competitive that I can understand why I was successful because I was exactly the same as my son.”
Martinez also said a series of loan moves during his first term in England also helped him reach the top and developed him as a player.
“That’s when I tell you I was made, I wasn’t born. I’ve been through bad times, bad credits, good credits, injuries from my young career have helped me today, it’s been fine-tuned for the last 10 years. Because I’ve learned to take care of myself over the years, I’ve learned to be in a bad place and say, ‘No. I’ll say, ‘I don’t want to be here anymore and I want to be somewhere else,’ and I find myself working mentally to such a psychology that it helped me get back to that place. That’s when I tell you I was made.”
Listen to the full Emiliano Martinez interview today (March 2) on major podcast platforms on ‘Michael Calvin’s Football People’, the latest edition of the BT Sport podcast. Every Thursday, award-winning journalist and author Michael Calvin interviews players, managers, owners, referees and more, providing unique insights into the game: btsport.com/pods