Wednesday, 12 Jun 2024

Emiliano Martínez Biography: From Humble Beginnings to Goalkeeping Glory

In Emiliano Martínez’s captivating biography, we delve into the remarkable journey of a goalkeeper who emerged from humble origins in Argentina to become a world-class talent in the Premier League. Known for his exceptional skills and reflexes, Martínez has solidified his position as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, earning numerous accolades, including the prestigious Copa América and FIFA World Cup titles.

Everything to Know about Emiliano Martínez

Martínez, affectionately nicknamed “Dibu,” which translates to “drawing” in Spanish, has a fascinating background. As a child, he found inspiration in an animated character from a popular Argentine TV series. Martínez’s passion for science and technology is evident as well, as he was accepted at the Institute of Innovation and Technology in Buenos Aires before embarking on his football career. In fact, Martínez once revealed his alternative career choice: becoming a scientist had he not pursued football.

Now, let’s delve deeper into the thrilling biography of Emiliano Martínez.

Emiliano Martínez Information

Before we embark on his life story, let’s take a brief look at Martínez’s general information:

  • Full Name: Damián Emiliano Martínez
  • Nickname: Dibu
  • Profession: Professional Football Player

Physical Stats

  • Weight: 88 Kilograms
  • Height: 1.95 m
  • Eye Color: Brown
  • Hair Color: Black

Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: September 2, 1992
  • Birth Place: Mar del Plata, Argentina
  • Nationality: Argentine

Football Information

  • Position: Goalkeeper
  • Jersey Number: 1
  • Professional Debut: 2010

Emiliano Martínez Early Life

Martínez’s journey began on September 2, 1992, in Mar del Plata, a city located in the Buenos Aires Province of Argentina. Growing up alongside his brother Alejandro, who also pursued a football career, Martínez exhibited promising talent at an early age while playing for the youth ranks of Independiente, a club based in his hometown. His exceptional goalkeeping skills attracted the attention of Arsenal, a prominent Premier League club in England. At the age of 18, Martínez made the life-changing decision to join Arsenal, signing a long-term contract.

However, Martínez faced numerous challenges as he waited patiently for his opportunity to shine in Arsenal’s first team. Loaned out to various clubs in England and Spain, including Oxford United, Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Getafe, and Reading, Martínez used these loan spells to gain invaluable experience and refine his skills.

Emiliano Martínez Profile

Emiliano Martínez’s profile paints the picture of a football legend. Recognized as one of the world’s best goalkeepers, he achieved remarkable success by securing the Copa América and World Cup titles with Argentina. Additionally, Martínez left an indelible mark on the Premier League while representing Aston Villa. From his humble beginnings in Argentina to his ascent to fame and glory, Martínez’s life story serves as an inspiration. Beyond football, he holds a deep passion for science, technology, and animal welfare.

Emiliano Martínez Football Career

Now, let’s explore the pivotal moments of Emiliano Martínez’s football career.

Early Years and Joining Arsenal

After impressing Arsenal’s scouts, Martínez received an invitation for a trial in London in 2009. Successfully passing the trial, he secured a work permit and officially became an Arsenal player in July 2010.

First Loan Spell and Debut for Arsenal

Martínez’s debut in the Football League was delayed as he found himself behind established goalkeepers Wojciech Szczęsny, Łukasz Fabiański, and Vito Mannone in Arsenal’s pecking order. However, he seized the opportunity to make his mark when he joined Oxford United on an emergency loan in May 2012. Martínez played in the final game of the season against Port Vale in League Two but couldn’t prevent his team from a 3-0 defeat.

Returning to Arsenal, Martínez made appearances on the bench for select Premier League games, providing cover for injured players like Szczęsny and Fabiański. He made his first appearance for the Gunners on September 26, 2012, in a 6-1 win over Coventry City in the third round of the League Cup. Martínez continued to impress, playing a significant role in Arsenal’s thrilling 7-5 comeback victory against Reading in the next round.

Second Loan Spell and Breakthrough Season

In October 2013, Martínez embarked on a 28-day loan spell at Championship club Sheffield Wednesday, which was later extended until the end of the season. Despite a 3-2 defeat against Huddersfield Town in his debut match, Martínez showcased his skills in 11 appearances for Wednesday, keeping three clean sheets.

Returning to Arsenal, Martínez contributed to the club’s success by winning the 2014 FA Community Shield, where they triumphed over Manchester City with a resounding 3-0 victory. He also made his Champions League debut that season, aiding Arsenal in their 2-1 win against Anderlecht. Martínez’s Premier League debut followed, as he stepped in for the injured Szczęsny against Manchester United on November 22.

With Szczęsny and Ospina sidelined, Martínez emerged as Arsenal’s first-choice goalkeeper for several games. Displaying exceptional performances, he maintained clean sheets against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, as well as West Bromwich Albion and Southampton in the Premier League. His standout performance against Dortmund earned him a place in the UEFA Team of the Week.

Third Loan Spell and Return to Arsenal

In March 2015, Martínez joined Rotherham United on an emergency loan until the end of the season. Although he conceded two stoppage-time goals in a 3-2 defeat against Sheffield Wednesday, Martínez made eight appearances for Rotherham, securing one clean sheet.

Returning to Arsenal for the 2015-16 season, Martínez witnessed his team lifting the FA Community Shield once again, defeating Chelsea 1-0. He then embarked on a season-long loan at Wolverhampton Wanderers. Though Martínez initially performed admirably, making 15 appearances in the first half of the season, an unfortunate thigh injury sidelined him for several months. Despite his return, Martínez struggled to regain his previous form and only made two more appearances for Wolves.

Martínez spent the entire 2016-17 season at Arsenal, playing five games. He featured twice in the Premier League against Crystal Palace and West Ham United, in addition to three appearances in the FA Cup. Notably, Martínez kept a clean sheet in the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City, contributing to Arsenal’s 2-1 extra-time victory.

Fourth and Fifth Loan Spells and Current Status

In August 2017, Martínez embarked on a season-long loan at Spanish club Getafe, where he made five appearances across various competitions. He returned to England in January 2019, joining Reading on loan until the season’s end. Martínez made an impactful debut against Bolton Wanderers and earned the Man of the Match award against Aston Villa shortly after.

Martínez’s remarkable career reached new heights when he completed his move to Aston Villa on September 16, 2020. Signing a four-year deal worth up to £20 million, Martínez made an instant impact on his debut. Saving a penalty from John Lundstram, he secured a clean sheet in Aston Villa’s 1-0 victory over Sheffield United at Villa Park.

Throughout the season, Martínez continually impressed with crucial saves and commanding presence. His contributions helped Villa secure an 11th-place finish in the league, their best position since 2011. Breaking Brad Friedel’s club record, Martínez equaled the most clean sheets in a Premier League season with 15. Such outstanding performances earned him the coveted Aston Villa Supporters’ Player of the Season award.

Martínez’s stellar debut season resulted in a three-year contract extension on January 21, 2022. The extension tied him to Aston Villa until the summer of 2027. In addition to this recognition, Martínez received the honor of being named one of Aston Villa’s two vice-captains, alongside Diego Carlos, highlighting his leadership qualities on and off the pitch.

On April 1, 2023, Martínez achieved a significant personal milestone during a 2-0 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. This game marked his 100th Premier League appearance for Villa, where he achieved the remarkable feat of keeping 34 clean sheets in his first 100 games, surpassing Mark Bosnich and Brad Friedel’s joint record of 33.

International Career

Martínez’s international journey began in June 2011 when he received his first call-up to the Argentina senior squad. However, he had to wait until October 2019 to make his international debut for his country in friendly matches against Germany and Ecuador. Martínez finally played a full match, making his debut in a World Cup qualifying game against Chile, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Martínez’s breakthrough on the international stage arrived during the Copa América, where he emerged as Argentina’s undisputed number-one goalkeeper. In the semi-final against Colombia, he showcased his remarkable skills by saving three penalties, helping Argentina secure a spot in the final. In the final against Brazil, Martínez displayed his expertise by keeping a clean sheet, contributing to Argentina’s 1-0 victory and ending their 28-year wait for a major trophy. For his exceptional performance throughout the tournament, Martínez received the Golden Glove award as the best goalkeeper.

Martínez’s exceptional form continued in the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Playing every game for Argentina, he saved two penalties in a quarter-final shootout against the Netherlands, helping his team secure a place in the semi-finals. In the thrilling final against France, Martínez made a crucial save in the last minute of extra time, denying France’s Randal Kolo Muani from close range. In the subsequent penalty shootout, Martínez saved another penalty, ultimately leading Argentina to a 4-2 victory. For the second time in a row, Martínez claimed the Golden Glove award, solidifying his status as the best goalkeeper of the tournament. In recognition of his outstanding performances, he also received The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper award.

Controversy and Criticism

Martínez stirred controversy after the World Cup ceremony when he gestured with the Golden Glove trophy. Some media outlets reported his actions as vulgar, but Martínez later clarified that he responded to the French fans’ boos.

Emiliano Martínez’s Playing Style

Martínez possesses a distinct playing style that sets him apart as a goalkeeper.


  • Agility and Excellent Reflexes: Martínez’s agility and lightning-quick reflexes enable him to swiftly react to shots from various angles and distances. His skills are especially apparent when saving penalties, as demonstrated by his success in the Copa América and World Cup, where he saved five out of 12 spot-kicks. Martínez employs his bottom hand, top hand, or both hands to divert high shots effectively.


  • Aggressiveness and Recklessness: Martínez’s aggressive nature occasionally leads to reckless challenges. While rushing out of his line, he may commit fouls or misjudge the ball. Additionally, under pressure or when dealing with high crosses, he can be vulnerable to errors.

Emiliano Martínez’s Honors and Achievements

Throughout his remarkable career, Emiliano Martínez has amassed a collection of impressive achievements.

Club Level:

  • FA Cups: 2019-2020 (Arsenal)
  • FA Community Shields: 2014, 2015, 2020 (Arsenal)

International Level:

  • Copa América: 2021 (Argentina)
  • FIFA World Cup: 2022 (Argentina)
  • CONMEBOL-UEFA Cup of Champions: 2022 (Argentina)

Individual Level:

  • Golden Glove Award: Copa América 2021, FIFA World Cup 2022
  • Team of the Tournament: Copa América 2021, FIFA World Cup 2022
  • The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper: 2022

Emiliano Martínez Personal Life

Beyond his illustrious career, Emiliano Martínez enjoys a fulfilling personal life. In 2017, he married Amanda Gama, also known as Mandinha, whom he met during his loan spell at Getafe. Amanda hails from Brazil. Together, they have two children: a son named Santi and a daughter named Ava.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where was Emiliano Martínez born?

Emiliano Martínez was born in Mar del Plata, Argentina.

2. What is Emiliano Martínez’s nickname?

Emiliano Martínez is nicknamed “Dibu,” which means “drawing” in Spanish.

3. Which clubs did Emiliano Martínez play for before joining Aston Villa?

Before joining Aston Villa, Emiliano Martínez played for Arsenal, as well as several loan spells at clubs such as Oxford United, Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Getafe, and Reading.

4. Has Emiliano Martínez won any international trophies?

Yes, Emiliano Martínez has won the Copa América with Argentina in 2021 and the FIFA World Cup in 2022.

5. What awards has Emiliano Martínez received for his goalkeeping skills?

Emiliano Martínez has received the Golden Glove award for the best goalkeeper at both the Copa América and the FIFA World Cup. He was also named in the Team of the Tournament for both competitions.


Emiliano Martínez’s biography highlights the incredible journey of a goalkeeper who rose from humble beginnings to achieve unparalleled success. With an unwavering commitment to his craft and outstanding goalkeeping abilities, Martínez has solidified his status as one of the best in the world. From his impressive performances in the Premier League to his triumphs on the international stage, Martínez’s story serves as an inspiration to aspiring footballers and fans alike. Through dedication, perseverance, and undeniable talent, he continues to leave an indelible mark on the beautiful game.