EMI MARTINEZ has opened up on what makes him so successful at saving penalties.

The Aston Villa goalkeeper, 30, has developed a reputation for doing whatever it takes to ensure he comes out on top in shoot-outs after helping Argentina beat France in the World Cup final.

The 30-year-old also starred in the quarter final penalty win against The Netherlands with saves from Virgil van Dijk and Steven Berghuis.

And he saved three out of five penalties in Argentina's Copa America semi final shoot-out win over Colombia en route to lifting the trophy in 2021.

Later that year Martinez was playing for Villa against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Having gone ahead in the 88th minute they conceded an injury time spot kick.


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The World Cup winner admitted that he was surprised Bruno Fernandes and not Cristiano Ronaldo was taking the spot kick and he used this this to his advantage.

Speaking to Ian Wright and Oriana Sabatini on Behind The Game he said: "I saw Ronaldo disappointed for not taking it, and I thought there is tension here.

"I said 'Come on, you take it now. He (Ronaldo) doesn't want to shoot'. I said to Cavani 'Why is Ronaldo not shooting?' "

The shot-stopper's antics caused a delay to the penalty being taken and he was accused of trash-talking Fernandes.

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The former Arsenal man denied this and explained he just wanted to put doubt in Fernandes's mind.

Martinez was also seen jumping up and down on his line and swaying side to side, which was a tip international team-mate Lionel Messi had given him.

He said: "It's not even trash-talk. I create chaos. It was the 92nd minute of the game, I have to distract him in some way because they've got everything to win.

"Bruno, he didn't miss a pen for 25 pens or something. I asked Messi and he said when you move all around the place like that, they don't like it. 

"I was dancing not because I want to dance. I never practised that. I don't know how to do it now, that just came out in the moment. 

"The strikers they said 'We pick a spot', and the quality they've got they can put the ball in the spot.

"So if you're moving around so you create chaos, actually we see different spots."

Fans flooded to social media to give their thoughts on the explanation.

One replied: "That was a pretty cool explanation of Bruno's pen, goalkeepers are always at a disadvantage in pens so it's kinda cool to hear all the little tactics each keeper employs to level the field."

A second said: "Even as a United fan I respect it. Especially because time has passed a bit since.

"The s*** housery is elite and I'd be a hypocrite if I didn't appreciate that."

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A third added: "It's just mind games and it's part of taking a penalty. Someone who can do that to an opponent consistently deserves to be admired."

Maritnez and Aston Villa are flying high in fifth place in the Premier League and will continue their quest to secure European football away at Manchester United on Sunday.

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