While Emiliano Martinez was already a household name in Latin America for his penalty heroics in Copa America, the World Cup in Qatar will define his legacy in the game. Both on and off the pitch, ‘El Dibu’ established his place as one of the biggest characters in the game.
After beating France in the World Cup final, Martinez came under heavy fire for his taunting of Kylian Mbappe. In the dressing after the match, Martinez asked for ‘a minute’s silence for Mbappe’. When he returned back to Argentina, he was spotted on the open-top bus parade sporting a baby with Mbappe’s face on it. For many, it was a classless act.
Speaking to Cadena Cope, Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni was asked about Martinez’s actions.
“There are attitudes with which Dibu Martínez will not be happy, but he is a spectacular boy. He is a toddler. It is incredible how good a boy he is, you have to get to know him.”
“He was one of the discoveries that gave us enormous joy. He has a personality that has given the group a lot. There are attitudes, but he is a toddler.”
Despite his character reference from Scaloni, and his excellent performances of late, Martinez is facing an uncertain future. Reportedly, he does not have the best relationship with new Aston Villa manager Unai Emery. It could lead to a change of scene soon.