Emi Martinez drops major hint on his future as he eyes challenge as tough as winning World Cup
EMI MARTINEZ confessed his next challenge could be as tough as winning the World Cup – as he set his sights on ending Aston Villa’s 27-year-wait for a major trophy.
The 30-year-old was voted FIFA’s World goalkeeper of the year this week and has won the Copa America as well as the World Cup in a fairytale 20-month period.
Rumours persist that Martinez will be chased by a host of European big boys in the summer.
And he was slammed by Villa boss Unai Emery for his role in the loss to Arsenal last month.
But Martinez has shot down rumours of a rift between himself and manager Emery and claimed speculation linking him with a move this summer is wide of the mark.
“I want to achieve something that no one achieves, or it’s been hard to achieve,” the Villa keeper revealed during a BT Podcast – Mike Calvin’s
“Obviously, people were saying, after the Copa America after the World Cup, Emi is going to go and play Champions League and he’s going to leave.
“And I’m thinking, yeah, that’s the easiest part. You know that that’s easy leaving now in January going to a club playing the Champions League and all that.
“It seems everything is easy. Actually, it was a real challenge for me. Winning a World Cup for Argentina after 36 years. Yes. Beating the champions of America after 28 years in the Maracana.
“That was a challenge. Winning the Finalissima against the champions of Europe was a challenge.
“And now we need something for Aston Villa after 30 years? I don’t know how long it was. 40 years? You know, that’s a challenge.
“And that’s something I’m made for – for challenges, for not always having the easy way out.”
Emery was also Martinez’s manager at Arsenal but overlooked his No3 keeper at that time.
However Martinez praised his Spanish boss, despite Emery criticising his decision to go up for a late corner against Arsenal recently, which cost his side a stoppage time goal in a 4-2 home defeat.
The Argentine No1 clearly doesn’t hold a grudge and said: “We’ve got one of the best managers for winning things in Europe. So I’m up for the challenge.”