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£20m Aston Villa player says his friends were urging him not to play against Brighton
Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images

£20m Aston Villa player says his friends were urging him not to play against Brighton

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez is carrying an injury ahead of playing in the World Cup with Argentina.

In an interview with the Athletic, he said that his friends told him not to play in Villa’s most recent game against Brighton.

That is so he did not make his groin problem worse, but he got through the game unscathed as Villa grabbed a 2-1 win.

Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

Martinez managing an injury before the World Cup

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

“I was thinking, ‘What is the best thing for my career?’.

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

Martinez is the first choice goalkeeper for an Argentina side which has not lost for 35 games going into the tournament in Qatar.

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

In the season before that tournament, he was loaned by Arsenal to Getafe and the loan spell went so badly that he said elsewhere in the interview that he considered retiring from football at that point.

Four years on, and he make a breakthrough at Arsenal before joining Villa for £20 million and he is now his country’s number one at a tournament they could well go on to win.

It seems Martinez is managing his injury well enough to play at the showpiece tournament and he will be hoping to return to Villa with a medal from the biggest trophy in world football around his neck.

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