From whipping fans into a frenzy to trash talking opponents, Emiliano Martinez’s FIVE acts of penalty kick skullduggery in Argentina’s shootout win over France showed he is a master of the dark arts

  • Emiliano Martinez pulled out all the tricks in the shoot-out with France on Sunday
  • The Argentina goalkeeper did all he could to put off the opposing penalty takers 
  • It paid dividends as the South American outfit emerged victorious on the day 
  • His five acts of shoot-out skullduggery give proof that his tricks are working 

Emiliano Martinez once again emerged as the hero for Argentina from a penalty shoot-out encounter on Sunday afternoon.

The Aston Villa goalkeeper used a bundle of tricks to put off France’s penalty takers before the South American outfit emerged victorious from the thrilling encounter.

It wasn’t the first occasion – and unlikely to be the last – where Martinez harnesses the dark arts to startle his opponent and here Sportsmail looks at his five act of shoot-out skullduggery. 

Emiliano Martinez was awarded the Golden Glove after his performances in the World Cup

Emiliano Martinez was awarded the Golden Glove after his performances in the World Cup

Spot-on approach to ball placement 

‘Ref, the ball isn’t on the spot.’ It is. Emiliano Martinez knows it is. Yet Argentina’s goalkeeper likes having the referee check to disrupt the penalty-taker’s process. 

In Sunday’s World Cup final shootout, Martinez asked Szymon Marciniak to check the ball’s placement before Kylian Mbappe and Kingsley Coman’s penalties and the referee did so both times, issuing a thumbs up.

Martinez spoke with the referee ahead of multiple France penalties in an attempt to disrupt

Martinez spoke with the referee ahead of multiple France penalties in an attempt to disrupt

Talking the talk 

Martinez talks and talks and talks. During Argentina’s 2021 Copa America semi-final win over Colombia, with no supporters in the stands, we could hear what Martinez was saying to Yerry Mina. 

‘You’re nervous. You’re nervous. Hey, the ball is ahead (of the spot). Hey, the ball is ahead.’ Referee Jesus Valenzuela checks. It’s fine. ‘Yeah, yeah, turn a blind eye.’ 

Martinez turns his attention back to Mina. ‘Hey, look. I know where you’ll shoot and then save it. I’m eating you up, brother.’ He saves Mina’s shot and celebrates by jumping — and humping — into the air. 

Marciniak’s patience on Sunday finally snapped before Randal Kolo Muani’s penalty. It wasn’t shown on TV but Marciniak physically pushes Martinez away because he is trying to talk to Kolo Muani as he is placing the ball on the spot. 

It is then that Martinez is shown a yellow card.

Martinez emerged victorious in a battle with Yerry Mina during the 2021 Copa America

Martinez emerged victorious in a battle with Yerry Mina during the 2021 Copa America

Playing to the crowd 

Speaking of celebrations, unlike other goalkeepers, Martinez does not hold back when he makes a save. It has been said that he does this to assert authority. 

By showing his confidence, the next taker is nervous. After saving Coman’s spot-kick, he jumped and punched the air three times before telling the Argentina supporters to make more noise. 

Not to mention that Alan Pardew-esque dance after Aurelien Tchouameni’s miss.

Many suggested that it may 'explain' the Argentina goalkeeper's crazy World Cup antics

The Aston Villa goalkeeper danced away after watching Tchouameni’s penalty fly wide

Piling on the pressure 

Throwing the ball away from a taker is a disrespectful act which should result in a yellow card from the referee. 

Tchouameni had to go and fetch the ball, taking him out of his stride and adding to his thinking time. 

How much pressure that added to his penalty, only Tchouameni will know.

The goalkeeper tossed the ball away from the Real Madrid midfielder prior to his spot-kick

The goalkeeper tossed the ball away from the Real Madrid midfielder prior to his spot-kick

Stop other gamesmanship 

Martinez wants to stops opposition goalkeepers from doing what he does. In the 2022 Carabao Cup final, when Liverpool beat Chelsea 11-10 on penalties, goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher went out of his way to retrieve the ball whenever he was beaten, protecting it so that Kepa Arrizabalaga could not use it to psych out the opposing penalty-taker. 

These instructions, it later emerged, came from neuro11, the German neuroscience company whose motto is ‘train your brain’ and who were hired by Liverpool to improve them mentally. 

When France scored against Argentina in Sunday’s shootout, Martinez likewise got hold of the ball, leaving Hugo Lloris unable to copy his cheeky tactics.





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