Aston Villa’s Emi Martinez was recognized as the world’s best goalkeeper at The Best FIFA Football Awards 2022 in Paris on Monday evening.
The 30-year-old beat out fellow nominees Thibaut Courtois of Real Madrid and Belgium and Yassine Bounou of Sevilla and Morocco for the title of The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper.
Martinez starred in Argentina’s 2022 FIFA World Cup triumph in Qatar, helping to immortalize Lionel Messi as the undisputed best player in world football history. Martinez won the tournament’s Golden Glove award given to the best goalkeeper.
“I am so proud,” Martinez said when accepting the award. “My family supported me, Aston Villa and the people of Argentina.
“People ask me who are my idols and what goalkeeper did I dream of as a child, but I saw my mother cleaning buildings for eight hours a day and my father working so hard, they’re my idols.”
An accomplishment forged at Aston Villa
Since joining the club in the summer of 2020, Martinez has made 96 league appearances for Aston Villa and provided invaluable support to the back line.
In his first season with Villa — 2020/2021 — Martinez won 16 matches and had 15 clean sheets. Villa finished the Premier League campaign in 11th place — the club’s best result since 2010/2011.
He became the first active Aston Villa player to win the World Cup and could fetch a sizable transfer fee in the summer if the club decide to sell.
Martinez, though, recently suggested that his future could yet be in Birmingham.
“I want to achieve something that no one achieves, or it’s been hard to achieve,” he said. “And 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 that’s something I’m made for – for challenges, for not always having the easy way out. And we’ve got one of the best managers for winning things in Europe. So I’m up for the challenge.”
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