You were not aware of these mental games Emi Martinez took part in

You were not aware of these mental games. Emi Martinez took part in

Emi Martinez has spent his senior career in a constant state of chaos.

Following his exploits in the 2022 World Cup, the Argentine goalie has become a national hero. Whether it was the shootout heroics or the spectacular stop to deny Randal Kolo Muani in the closing embers of a dramatic final, Martinez played a significant part in ensuring Lionel Messi fulfilled his ultimate dream.

In the aftermath, the 30-year-old has been the talk of the town after being given the Golden Glove for his achievements in Qatar before placing the medal on his crotch in a wild celebration gesture. Why not?

He’s quite the character. I think you have to be okay with that hairstyle. Nonetheless, the World Cup final was only one of numerous truly insane football games in which Martinez has been involved during his career.

Here’s a reminder of the others.

Reading 5-7 Arsenal (2012)

Emi Martinez joined the Gunners on a junior contract in 2010 before signing his first professional contract in 2012.

His Capital One Cup debut came in a 6-1 win against Coventry, and he was included in Arsene Wenger’s cup XI for Arsenal’s fourth-round fixture at Reading.

After 37 minutes, the Gunners were 4-0 down, and a babyfaced Martinez had sent a few into his own goal. Not ideal. Despite this, Arsenal mounted a spectacular comeback in the second half, equalizing in the sixth minute of stoppage time.

Marouane Chamakh then gave the visitors their first lead of the game in extra time before Martinez surrendered his fifth when Pavel Pogrebnyak headed home. Arsenal progressed thanks to late goals from Theo Walcott and Chamakh, although Martinez would not play for the Gunners again until 2014.

Stoke City 3-2 Arsenal (2014)

Emi Martinez made his debut for Arsenal in the winter of 2014, when Wojciech Szczesny was injured, and David Ospina was unavailable. The Argentine preserved clean sheets in 1-0 victories against West Brom and Southampton, but his third and final start during this spell was less productive.

Emi Martinez surrendered 19 seconds into Arsenal’s trip to the Britannia when Peter Crouch broke his defenses. Arsenal trailed 3-0 at halftime thanks to goals from Bojan Krkic and Jon Walters.

The Gunners tried a second-half comeback, with Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey cutting the lead to one, but Callum Chambers’ second yellow card with 15 minutes left ended their push.

Rotherham 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday (2015)

In March, Martinez joined Rotherham United on an emergency loan after starting four Premier League games in the first half of the 2014/15 season.

Martinez seemed destined to guide the Millers to a win against Sheffield Wednesday on his debut only 24 hours after joining the club.

Jordan Bowery took the hosts their second lead in the game with only three minutes left, practically immediately after Caolan Lavery had equalized for the Owls. Rotherham seemed safe, but they surrendered twice in stoppage time to steal loss from the mouths of triumph.

Kieran Lee scored the game-winning goal in the eighth minute of overtime.

Liverpool 5-5 (5-4p) Arsenal (2019)

After multiple loan stints, Martinez returned to Arsenal in 2019, serving as Bernd Leno’s second in charge for the 2019/20 season.

Consequently, the Argentine saw frequent cup action, including a ten-goal Carabao Cup thriller at Anfield.

Unai Emery was still in charge as a young Arsenal team excelled against a rotating Liverpool XI, scoring five goals apiece to send the cup game to penalties.

Martinez did not do any shootout heroics this time, as Liverpool converted all five of their penalties, while Dani Ceballos failed for the Gunners.

Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 Arsenal (2020)

This game impacted Martinez’s life.

Despite conceding a last-minute winner to Brighton attacker Neal Maupay, Leno’s injury in this game ensured Martinez took over as Arsenal’s starting goalkeeper for the rest of the season.

He made an early impression in goal, keeping three Premier League clean sheets in a row. Martinez also helped Arsenal win the FA Cup in front of an empty Wembley Stadium, defeating Chelsea 2-1 in the final.

The Argentine’s efforts towards the conclusion of the pandemic-hit 2019/20 season earned him a summer transfer to Aston Villa. He would make his international debut in October 2021 if his strong form is maintained in the Midlands.