Emiliano Martinez added to his impressive penalty record as Argentina won a World Cup final shootout against France on Sunday night.
The Aston Villa keeper has won four successive shoot-outs with club and country, with his last defeat coming in 2019 when he was with Arsenal.
Argentina beat both the Netherlands and France on penalties to seal their World Cup triumph, with Martinez to the fore.
He saved from Virgil van Dijk and Steven Berghuis against the Dutch, marking the second save with a jig of delight, and also denied France’s Kingsley Coman.
Aurelien Tchouameni then fired wide – but only after having to retrieve the ball with a wry smile after Martinez flung it to the corner of the penalty area. The Argentina keeper went on to collect a yellow card in the shoot-out for his continued antics before Randal Kolo Muani’s successful attempt.
His success in Qatar followed another shoot-out win over Colombia in last year’s Copa America semi-final, when he saved three out of five penalties. Martinez reportedly apologised to Everton defender Yerry Mina after telling him before his kick “I’ll eat you alive”, and then celebrating the save with a pelvic thrust.
He has yet to face a shoot-out with Villa but his final appearance for Arsenal saw them beat Liverpool on penalties in the Community Shield, with Rhian Brewster’s effort off target.
In all, Martinez has faced 24 penalties in competitive shoot-outs, saving six with two outright misses meaning a third of opposing takers have been unsuccessful.
He has also won two out of three shoot-outs after friendlies. While those are of course less significant, Gareth Bale and David Alaba are among the players to fail against Martinez while playing for Real Madrid and Bayern Munich respectively. Coman, however, netted for Bayern.
Martinez has saved seven of the 35 penalties he has faced during matches, with another three missed – giving opposing takers a 71 per cent success rate.
There is a caveat, with three of those saves counting for nothing as Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha and then-Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang both followed up to score, as did Edu Vargas after Martinez saved from Chile’s Arturo Vidal in the 2021 Copa America.
Martinez, though, will assuredly be keen to take credit for the outright misses through his mind games.
Before Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes took a late spot-kick against Villa last season, Martinez memorably pointed at Cristiano Ronaldo and seemingly questioned why he was not taking the penalty instead – and then danced a celebratory shuffle in front of the United fans after Fernandes blazed over.
Of 59 penalties faced by Martinez in regulation and shoot-outs combined, excluding friendly shoot-outs, he has saved 13 and seen five missed outright.
The remaining 41 were scored, giving the penalty takers a 69.5 per cent success rate.
#Emiliano #Martinez #good #Argentina #goalkeeper #saving #penalties