Emiliano “Dibu” Martínez, goalkeeper and figure of the Argentina World Champion Team in Qatar 2022, said this Thursday that it did not “weigh” for him to play the final against France and he did it “as he did in the square” of his Mar del Plata native.
“Playing the world final did not bother me at all. I played it as I did in the square of the Barrio Jardín in Mar del Plata,” revealed “Dibu” Martínez in an extensive interview with TyC Sports, just over two months after the historic conquest in Qatar.
“Being world champion for the first time is special and will remain in my heart for the rest of my life,” added the man from Mar del Plata, one of the idols of the team that won the third star for the Argentine national team. “Today I’m at the top but 99.9% of the boys want to be like Messi. I also take pride and responsibility that the boys want to tackle,” said “Dibu”, referring to the number of children who wear his clothing in the squares, at children’s parties or at soccer schools.
The brand new winner of FIFA’s “The Best” award for the best goalkeeper in the world in 2022 admitted that he did not “expect” to be chosen, while at the same time he assured that he was not interested in the questions he received. “They go in one ear and out the other. I’m only interested in what they think in my country, in the coaching staff and my teammates,” said the Aston Villa footballer.
During the review of the most relevant moments of the World Cup, the goalkeeper began with the save against the Frenchman Randal Kolo Muani at the end of the second half of extra time. “I did not realize the value it had because it was all very fast and I could not appreciate it. I just wanted it to hit me in the face. Today I see it and it excites me,” acknowledged the goalkeeper, key with that action to reach penalties .
After Gonzalo Montiel’s final penalty, Martínez collapsed on the playing field of the Lusail stadium and thus recounted his reaction: “I was awake and fainted at the same time. I didn’t know what to do, I wanted to hug everyone.” A similar image was after qualifying for the semifinal after beating the Netherlands, but there the first one to approach was Lionel Messi. “He told me ‘you did it again’. For him to come and tell me that is an emotion. After the final I told him ‘thank you for making me world champion'”, he pointed out.
Asked about the opinion of Rodrigo De Paul that caused some anger in other world champions, “Dibu” Martínez was more cautious and considered that in case of repeating the title he would be encouraged to ensure that they are the “best” in history. “These are opinions. ‘Rodri’ doesn’t want to hurt anyone. The only difference is that we were lucky to win. The 2014 team played a great final and the 2006 team also played very well,” he remarked. “We still need to give a lot. I can’t say I’m the best when I played 26 games in the National Team and ‘Chiquito’ Romero played 100, with 44 clean sheets,” he graphed.
The former Independiente also praised the youngest footballers who stood out in the World Cup, such as Julián Álvarez, the “cheeky” Enzo Fernández and Alexis Mac Allister, but praised the figure of Ángel Di María, author of the second goal and the player who received the penalty for the first. “When I saw that he was playing in the final, I said: ‘We won it.’
Less than a month after the reunion with the Argentine public, “Dibu” showed his anxiety about playing at the Monumental stadium and warned that they should not relax despite being world champions. “We have to show that we are champions, be it Panama or Brazil. People deserve to see a hungry team,” he concluded in relation to the duels at the end of March against Panama and Curaçao for the next FIFA Date.