Martinez 'kicked three times' by Mbappe and France before World Cup penalty shoot-out heroics

By Sports Desk December 18, 2022 1370

Emiliano Martinez was thrilled with his response to being "kicked three times" by France and Kylian Mbappe, as the goalkeeper produced penalty shoot-out heroics to help Argentina claim World Cup glory.

Martinez saved from Virgil van Dijk and Steven Berghuis in a quarter-final victory over the Netherlands, and on Sunday he denied France's Kingsley Coman from 12 yards as La Albiceleste prevailed 4-2 on penalties after a hugely entertaining 3-3 draw at Lusail Stadium.

Martinez, who was awarded the Golden Glove accolade, was beaten three times in the final by Mbappe – including twice from the penalty spot – as Lionel Scaloni's side were pegged back from 2-0 and 3-2 ahead.

But the Aston Villa stopper – once an Arsenal reserve who spent time on loan at Oxford United – came to the fore again for his nation, before Gonzalo Montiel slotted the decisive kick.

"I lived the penalties quietly," Martinez said in quotes reported on Argentina's Twitter account. "Again, they kicked me three times, and they scored three goals. But I think I did everything right afterwards.

"I left a very humble place and, as a young man, I went to England. I want to dedicate this to my family."

Defender Nicolas Tagliafico added: "The first half was very good. In the second, we had our mistakes, but we knew how to pull it off. I dedicate it to all Argentines and all the people who supported this."

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Last modified on Sunday, 18 December 2022 14:20
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