“We always like to hear that the opponent is the favourite.”
Emi Martinez has been a catalyst for so much good ever since he took over the No.1 spot for Argentina.
The Aston Villa goalkeeper was a key part of his side’s World Cup qualification, Copa America triumph and their Finalissima victory. In this World Cup, he has excelled again and his stand-out contribution was his penalty shoot-out heroics against The Netherlands in the quarter final.
Martinez is chirpy, too. Like many of his compatriots, he is a heart-on-your-sleeve personality and has no issues with getting into it with opponents.
Ahead of Sunday’s World Cup final, he took issue with the following Kylian Mbappé comments on the differences between European and South American football. The last four World Cup winners have been European, including Mbappé’s France in 2018. The PSG striker commented:
“The advantage we have in Europe is that we play among ourselves with high-level matches all the time, such as the Nations League.
“When we arrive at the World Cup, we are ready, whereas Brazil and Argentina do not have this level in South America. Football is not as advanced as in Europe. That’s why at the last World Cups, it’s always the Europeans who win.”
“It may be better not to talk about it”
Some outlets may report the following Emi Martinez and Kylian Mbappé piece with some degree of bombast, but the response from the Argentina goalkeeper was made without any voices being raised or tables being thumped.
Asked about those Mbappé comments, the Villa man was nonetheless firm. He replied:
“He doesn’t know enough about football.
“He never played in South America. When you don’t have this experience, it may be better not to talk about it. But it doesn’t matter. We are a great team, recognised as such.”
Martinez says he is happy that France are considered by many to be World Cup favourites, and reminded those at his press briefing that Brazil were the Copa America favourites before his team did a number on them.
“People can say that the favourites are France, but we have the great advantage to have the greatest player of all time [in Lionel Messi],” he said.
“We always like to hear that the opponent is the favourite because we don’t feel either superior or inferior to anyone. But, as I always say, we have the greatest player of all time. And with a good defence, we have many chances to reach our goal.”
Emi Martinez admitted to reporters that getting to the World Cup final has involved some of that journey being on ‘a very difficult road’.
“I’ve always been a fighter, I always fought,” he added.
“When I was 12 years old I left my home, when I was 17 years old I played with Arsenal until I was 26, 27 years old and Argentina, in my country, they didn’t know me as a player as I deserved it or as I wanted it. I was very young when I left my country… and right now to have the whole country supporting me in this final of the World Cup, this is something crucial.
“Emotions will be there, will be present but I am strong emotionally and when the initial whistle blows I will be concentrated on saving the ball.”
Antony and Bruno Fernandes clash as Crystal Palace dent Man United’s title notions
Antony was not happy with Fernandes
Manchester United duo Antony and Bruno Fernandes were seen clashing with each other in the first half of United’s draw against Crystal Palace.
Fernandes looked to have secured United the three points with a goal on the stroke of half time only for Michael Olise’s stunning free kick in second half stoppage time ensured a share of the spoils.
Wout Weghorst also made his debut for the club after they paid Beşiktaş to cancel his loan spell in Turkey and move to Old Trafford from Burnley until the end of the season, with United desperately in need of a striker
The majority of the first half saw Erik ten Hag’s side find it difficult to break down a resilient Palace defence with Antony in particular struggling to get the best of full back, Tyrick Mitchell.
It seemed as if tempers began to flare amongst the United ranks on the half hour mark as Antony and Fernandes were caught exchanging verbals with each other, leading to many speculating on social media.
Bruno fernandes and Antony arguing 🤔 pic.twitter.com/YaOagxqrBD
— YOUYOU_7 (@__YOUYOU___) January 18, 2023
One person wrote: “Bruno Fernandes beefing with Antony, all this bollocks about how they’re now a United team not individuals is hilarious.”
Another tweeted: “Bruno is right to be upset at Antony but it’s so funny seeing him get get taste of his own medicine.”
Bruno is right to be upset at Antony but it's so funny seeing him get get taste of his own medicine 😂😂pic.twitter.com/zzAcfw7gV0
— 🇨🇩🇸🇱 (@8Flavs) January 18, 2023
A third said: “The people saying Bruno & Antony shouldn’t be arguing with each other on the pitch have never played football.”
The people saying Bruno & Antony shouldn't be arguing with each other on the pitch have never played Football.
— Paul, Manc Bald and Bred (@MufcWonItAll) January 18, 2023
United now prepare to face Arsenal at the weekend, where they will be without Casemiro after he was booked, taking his total tally to five, meaning he will miss out through suspension.
He did get in for a selfie with a pitch invader, though…
Casemiro poses for a selfie with a fan 🤣🤳
— Barstool Football (@StoolFootball) January 18, 2023
Lionel Messi’s wife responds to Shakira ‘betrayal’ post after Gerard Pique break-up
Lionel Messi’s wife Antonela Roccuzzo has come out in support of Shakira following her high-profile split from Gerard Pique – Messi’s former Barcelona team-mate.
Colombian popstar Shakira shared a candid message with her fans on Instagram as she welcomed in the new year, taking a thinly-veiled swipe at her former partner by referencing “betrayal” and “heartache”.
“Even if our wounds are still open in this new year, time has a surgeon’s hands,” the Hips Don’t Lie singer wrote. “Even if someone’s betrayed us, we must continue to trust others.”
In response, Antonela sent Shakira three heart emojis in the comments section, in the latest suggestion that she and her husband are taking the singer-songwriter’s side in the ugly saga.
Shortly after their split, it emerged that Pique was dating 23-year-old Barcelona-born Clara Chia.
Messi and Pique spent over a decade playing together at Barcelona, having emerged from the club’s famed La Masia academy at around the same time.
Messi moved to PSG in 2021, while Pique hung up his boots in November, bringing the curtain down on a trophy-laded 19-year career that saw him win the World Cup, the European Championship, the Champions League, La Liga and the Premier League.
Source: Daily Star
Alisha Lehmann told she ‘won’t be single for long’ after wowing fans in pink ʙικιɴι
Alisha Lehmann has kept her social media followers updated during a recent holiday in Miami – with many left asking how she is still single after her split from Douglas Luiz.
The 23-year-old Aston Villa forward and Switzerland international has been catching the eye both on and off the pitch in recent seasons – with her Instagram following growing to over 10 million.
Following a recent trip in which she posed on the beach for no less than nine separate ʙικιɴι snaps, many of her followers had one thing in mind.
One comment read: “She won’t stay single for long.”
A second said: “I was looking for the meaning of perfection and I found this.”
A fourth then concluded: “The most beautiful soccer player in the world.”
The WSL star was recently back in the headlines after splitting up with Villa midfielder Luiz and then removing their shared snaps from Instagram.
The couple are said to have split over a row regarding her 2023 calendar which reportedly led to a furious row between the pair.
The split came after countless displays of public affection between the loved up couple – as well as him defending her for a comment made by a TV presenter.
Lehmann has also shared several clips of her Soccer AM cameo, in which he bagged a top bins in some style.
One of those to react was fellow Villa professional and Brazil international Luiz, who wrote on her upload with heart and fire emojis: “The best.”
Source: Daily Star