Football

Aston Villa player says friends were urging him not to play Brighton

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez suffers an injury before playing the World Cup with Argentina.

In an interview with the Athletiche said his friends told him not to play in Villa’s last game against Brighton.

That’s so he wouldn’t make his groin problem worse, but he emerged unscathed from the game as Villa won 2-1.

Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

Martinez managing an injury ahead of the World Cup

He admitted: “People told me, ‘Don’t play,’ because I have the World Cup.

“I was thinking, ‘What’s best for my career?’

“But I love this club, man. I’m all in. I showed against Brighton that I’m all-in.”

Martínez is the first-choice goalkeeper for an Argentine team that has gone 35 games without losing before the Qatar tournament.

What a journey it has been for him since the last World Cup, in Russia in 2018.

In the season before that tournament, Arsenal loaned him out to Getafe and the loan deal was so bad that he said elsewhere in the interview that he was considering retiring from football at that point.

Four years later, he made a breakthrough at Arsenal before joining Villa for £20m and is now his country’s number one in a tournament he could well win.

It appears Martinez is managing his injury well enough to play in the main tournament and hopes to return to Villa with a medal from world football’s biggest trophy around his neck.

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