Martinez Emiliano

Damián Emiliano Martínez is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for the Argentina national team. Martínez trained at Independiente’s youth ranks before moving to Premier League club Arsenal in 2010. At Arsenal, he initially served as understudy, being loaned to various clubs, before breaking into the starting line-up in 2019, featuring in the Premier League and helping the club win a FA Cup and FA Community Shield. In September 2020, Martínez moved to fellow Premier League club Aston Villa in a transfer worth £20 million. In his first season at the club, he kept a club record 15 clean sheets in the Premier League. Martínez had represented Argentina in junior international matches. He played on under-17 and under-20 levels. He earned his first senior cap for the Argentina national team in 2021, helping his nation win the 2021 Copa América, winning the Golden Glove trophy and keeping a clean sheet in the final. Martínez went on to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup, when he also won the best goalkeeper of the FIFA World Cup award, the Golden Glove for his performance in the tournament. For these achievements, he was named The Best FIFA Goalkeeper in 2022.

Match Worn Boots

Arsenal F.C.

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After impressing in a trial and being approved for a work permit, Martinez was formally registered as an Arsenal player in July 2010. After injuries to Ryan Clarke and Wayne Brown, and the termination of Connor Ripley’s loan, Martínez went on emergency loan to Oxford United, making his debut in the Football League in their final game of the season against Port Vale in League Two on 5 May 2012; Port Vale won 3–0. Later that year, Martinez was named on the Arsenal substitute bench for their fixtures away at Stoke City on 26 August and against Liverpool on 2 September, as cover for the injured Wojciech Szczęsny and Łukasz Fabiański, respectively. On 26 September, he made his Arsenal debut in a 6–1 home win against Coventry City in the third-round of the League Cup. He made his second Arsenal appearance in the following round in a 7–5 win away to Reading. Martínez subsequently transferred to Championship club Sheffield Wednesday on an emergency 28-day loan on 15 October 2013. He made his debut for Wednesday on 23 November, against Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town. Martínez’s loan was eventually extended until the end of the season. After returning to Arsenal, Martínez was an unused substitute as Arsenal won the 2014 FA Community Shield on 10 August, with a 3–0 win over Manchester City at Wembley Stadium. He made his debut in the Champions League soon after, helping Arsenal defeat Anderlecht 2–1 in the group stage. He then made his Premier League debut as a 2nd half substitute, replacing the injured Szczęsny against Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on 22 November. With injuries to backup goalkeeper David Ospina, Martínez played his second Champions League game on 26 November, keeping a clean sheet in a 2–0 victory over Borussia Dortmund. His “faultless” performance in the match led to him being named in the UEFA Team of the Week. He made his first Premier League start on 29 November against West Bromwich Albion, and also started against Southampton four days later; he kept two clean sheets as Arsenal won both matches 1–0. On 20 March 2015, Martínez joined Championship club Rotherham United on an emergency loan until the end of the season. He made his debut the following day against South Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday, conceding two added-time goals in a 3–2 home defeat. On 2 August, Martínez was an unused substitute as new signing Petr Čech played for Arsenal in the 2015 Community Shield, a 1–0 win over rivals Chelsea. On 11 August, he joined Championship club Wolverhampton Wanderers on a season-long loan. After making 15 appearances in the opening months of the campaign, he suffered a thigh injury that kept him out of contention for several months and was unable to regain his starting place afterwards. He spent the 2016–17 season at Arsenal, and played five matches during the campaign, including two Premier League appearances against Crystal Palace and West Ham United. On 2 August 2017, he joined La Liga club Getafe on a season-long loan, and on 23 January 2019, he was loaned to Championship club Reading until the end of the season. At Reading, Martínez made his debut on 29 January against Bolton Wanderers, and won the man of the match award against Aston Villa a few days later.

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Martínez was given the names “Damián Emiliano” on his birth certificate, which caused confusion when he signed for Arsenal and everyone at the club was calling him Damián. “My name was actually going to be Emiliano Damian on my Argentinian ID,” Martínez later explained. “But when my mum went to do it in the post office, I don’t know where she done it, she was waiting hours and hours in the queue and when they done it they put Damian Emiliano first. To do it again she would have to wait two, three hours so she went ‘it’s ok, just do it like that, we’re going to call him Emi anyway’. It was a bit confusing but now everyone calls me Emi. Damian used to be my grandad’s middle name. My mum [originally] wanted just two names – Emiliano Martinez – but because my grandad passed away before I was born she wanted to put Damian in between the two names to have my grandad’s name, nothing else.” He is nicknamed “Dibu” (abbreviation of Dibujo, Spanish for Drawing), after an animated character in the Argentine telenovela Mi familia es un dibujo. Martinez was given the nickname as a young player by former goalkeeper and goalkeeper coach Miguel Ángel Santoro at Independiente, at a time when the series was highly popular. Martínez has been married to Amanda “Mandinha” (née Gama) since 2017. The couple have a son, Santi, and a daughter, Ava. On 22 December 2022, after winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup with the national team, Martínez was given a welcome reception at Las Toscas resort, in his native city of Mar del Plata. According to the local press, there was an attendance of more than 150,000 people, both locals and tourists. Martínez was called up to the Argentina senior squad to replace Oscar Ustari to face Nigeria in June 2011. He received his second senior call up against Germany and Ecuador on 9 and 13 October 2019; he was an unused substitute for both friendly matches. Martínez made his international debut on 3 June 2021, in a 1–1 draw with Chile in a 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification match. He subsequently made his competitive debut in a major tournament on 14 June, once again in a 1–1 draw against the same opponent in his team’s opening match of the 2021 Copa América at the Estádio Olímpico Nilton Santos in Brazil. In the 57th minute, he saved a penalty from Arturo Vidal, but he failed to prevent Eduardo Vargas from scoring on the rebound. On 6 July, Martínez saved three spot kicks in a 3–2 penalty shootout victory for Argentina over Colombia in the semi-final of the tournament. He went on to finish the tournament with a clean sheet in the 1–0 victory over Brazil in the final.[56] Martínez was also awarded the 2021 Copa América’s Golden Glove award as the best keeper of the tournament for his performances. On 1 June 2022, Martínez kept a clean sheet as Argentina won 3–0 against reigning European Champions Italy at Wembley Stadium in the 2022 Finalissima. Martínez was included in Argentina’s squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, and played in each of his team’s games.[59] He saved two penalties in a shoot-out against the Netherlands in the quarter-final, helping his team make it to the last four. In the final, Martínez saved a shot from a 1 on 1 with Randal Kolo Muani in the last minute of extra time to force the match to a penalty shoot-out. He later saved a penalty from Kingsley Coman in the penalty shoot-out, helping Argentina win the tournament via a 4–2 shootout victory after the game had ended in a 3–3 draw after extra time. He won the Golden Glove award for his performances in the tournament. Martínez also won the 2022 The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper award. Martínez created controversy after winning the Golden Glove during the 2022 FIFA World Cup award ceremony; he put the trophy to his groin and pointed towards the audience, and then emphatically waved it in the air. It generated a stir, and some media outlets reported that he had made a vulgar gesture. Addressing this, Martinez said he had done this gesture due to the French fans booing him. He also led a conga line of Argentine players at the locker room making fun of French player Kylian Mbappé. During the celebrations in Buenos Aires, fans presented him with a baby-doll with the face of Mbappé. Several international media outlets criticised him for these actions, and many accused him of lacking sportsmanship.