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Argentina’s Hero keeper Martinez repeats penalty shootout magic



Argentina's Hero keeper Martinez repeats penalty shootout magic
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Emiliano Martinez, Argentina’s goalkeeper nicknamed “El Dibu,” continued his penalty shootout heroics, helping his team overcome Ecuador 4-2 on penalties in the Copa America quarterfinals.

The match finished 1-1, sending it straight to penalties after the Copa America format eliminates extra time except for the final.

While Lionel Messi’s opening penalty attempt rattled the crossbar, Martinez emerged as the star.

This isn’t Martinez’s first time saving his team in a shootout.

He made crucial saves against Colombia in the 2021 Copa America and the Netherlands in the 2022 World Cup, the latter propelling Argentina to their World Cup title.

“Dibu is an animal,” said midfielder Rodrigo De Paul. “He deserves his success.

He loves playing for Argentina and gives us so much confidence.

We try to support him, but in these moments, he’s always there for us.”

No mind games, just saves unlike his famous antics in the World Cup final against France, Martinez focused on making saves this time, celebrating wildly only after denying Angel Mena and Alan Minda’s spot-kicks.

“I told the guys I wasn’t ready to go home,” Martinez told Argentine television.

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“This group deserves to go to the final.”


Martinez’s journey to national hero wasn’t easy. He joined Arsenal as a teenager, facing numerous loans to lower-league clubs before finally securing a chance with the Gunners. After a move to Aston Villa in 2020, he has established himself as a vital part of Argentina’s success.

Coach Lionel Scaloni praised Martinez’s impact on the team’s confidence.

“The team felt blind trust in their goalkeeper,” he said. “Even if Leo missed, they knew something positive would happen. That’s fundamental.”

Argentina will now face their next opponent in the Copa America semifinals, confident in their reliable goalkeeper between the sticks.