It’s always nice to see Aston Villa players doing well at the international level, and one player who is excelling at the moment is Villa keeper Emiliano Martínez, who has helped his Argentina side into the 2022 World Cup final, where they will face France on Sunday.
Martinez has been ever present for Argentina in the competition and barring injury or something exceptional, he will line up against France on Sunday, representing the Claret and Blue on the world stage.
So come Sunday, will Aston Villa have a World Cup winner on their hands?
France are the favourites to win the 2022 World Cup
Anything is possible, as this is a showdown between two fairly evenly matched-teams. In the latest betting, the World Cup 2022 odds to win see France as the marginal favourites, but only just. Didier Deschamps’ team are 5/6 to win the trophy outright, whilst Martinez and his Argentina side are 10/11. That’s a minimal difference in odds, highlighting that it’s effectively a 50/50 match.
One more step. ?#FIFAWorldCup
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) December 14, 2022
Helping the cause of Martinez and Villa – if you want to see it as a Villa win – is none other than Lionel Messi. Not that he doesn’t start any competition confidently these days, but Messi may believe his team has developed some strong momentum.
Messi didn’t look confident after their loss to Saudi Arabia in Argentina’s opening fixture, but with recent results on his side, he certainly appears to have faith in his team.
Martinez is now a vital member of the Argentina side
If Argentina wins the 2022 World Cup final this Sunday, it will be the inspirational Lionel Messi who receives all the plaudits.
But as Messi knows only too well, Emiliano Martínez has played an important role in getting Argentina into Sunday’s showpiece event, and without him, it’s debatable whether they would have got to this stage.
2021—Emi Martinez saves three penalties vs. Colombia to send Argentina to the Copa America final
2022—Emi Martinez saves two penalties vs. Netherlands to send Argentina to the World Cup semifinals
Clutch ? pic.twitter.com/YfbyE7XyHe
— B/R Football (@brfootball) December 9, 2022
Apart from his excellent shot-stopping abilities, Martinez is now one of the senior pros in his national team. At 30 years of age, he is approaching his prime years, and he gives Argentina an assured presence at the back that they’ve not necessarily had in recent competitions.
In short, Messi and Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni know they have nothing to worry about with Argentina’s goalkeeping position whilst Martinez is in situ.
Returning to Villa
The World Cup ends on Sunday, and Villa is back in Premier League action on Boxing Day, just eight days later. It remains to be seen if he will be available for the Liverpool fixture at Villa Park.
Unai Emery knows he needs his keeper back fit and firing as soon as possible, though. The chances are with Martinez, that he will be ready at short notice if required. And with Villa’s predicament not currently great, he might just need to be.
One thing is for sure though, Martinez will be a lot happier whenever he returns for Villa if he’s the holder of a World Cup winner’s medal.