Emi Martinez's best moments of penalty sh*thousery - ranked

Kyle Picknell
Martinez has turned penalty shootout sh*thousery into an art form
Martinez has turned penalty shootout sh*thousery into an art form / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/GettyImages
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Aston Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez is a force of nature.

He has just 26 caps for Argentina but in that time Martinez has won both the Copa America and now the World Cup, along with the Golden Glove award for best goalkeeper during both tournaments.

Not only that but he's done so in style. And that style is this: becoming the most horrible man in the entire world for the opposition, especially during penalty shootouts. Like, genuinely despicable. A man who would debag the Pope if he thought it would give him an advantage. A man who would punt a baby harp seal into orbit without a second thought.

A man who would steal your parking space, microwave a fish-based lunch in the office and then stand directly in front of you at a gig, all on the same day, just because he could.

In short, Martinez is a sh*thouse. He's also really good at it. Maybe the best. Let's celebrate that, shall we, more than anything else following the 2022 World Cup. Sure, Lionel Messi is now the de facto greatest player of all time. But we knew that already.

What we didn't know is just how far Martinez could take his antics. We do now. All the way to a World Cup final, to pretending his individual trophy was a phallus in front of a rather stern-looking Qatari official and consequently, to immortality.

Here's a countdown of his 10 best moments of penalty shootout sh*thousery. You're welcome.


10. Celebrating right in front of Kingsley Coman after saving his penalty

Kingsley Coman
Martinez jumped so high the photographer cut his head off / Marvin Ibo Guengoer - GES Sportfoto/GettyImages

It might not seem like a moment of sh*thousery but let me assure you it was. It was downright mean. After saving Kingsley Coman's penalty for France in the shootout, Martinez made sure to run over to the distraught player specifically to leap into the air and fist bump repeatedly in his near vicinity.

You just know that Coman saw him out of the corner of his eye. Was there any need? No, not really. But that makes it even funnier. He'd already missed. This really added nothing other than rubbing it in further.

And before you get all high and mighty on me, Coman has 26 trophies to his name so far in his career. He'll live.

Still, even this pales in comparison to what is to come.

9. Telling Louis van Gaal to keep his mouth shut

Not technically during the penalty shootout but in the immediate aftermath of their win over the Netherlands in the quarter-final, Martinez saying that van Gaal "needs to keep his mouth shut" and delivering it, well, like this, is outstanding. What a line read.

Bonus points for calling the referee useless as well. Martinez takes no prisoners. Imagine if he'd lost!

8. Wishing Louis van Gaal well

Damián Martínez - Soccer Goalkeeper - Born 1992
Did the shirt really need to come off, Emi? / Visionhaus/GettyImages

That was not all Martinez had to say to van Gaal, either. A legendary manager about to retire from football might be an opportunity for most players to shake his hand and congratulate him on a wonderful career.

Unless you're Emi Martinez, who took the opportunity to walk past the Dutch bench, topless, pointing and gesturing in van Gaal's direction and reportedly shouting: "I f*cked you twice, puto de mierda".

Van Gaal, to his credit, looked back at him nonplussed until Martinez was eventually ushered away by his coaching staff.

Is swearing at a 71-year-old man big? No. Is it clever? No. Is it funny given the circumstances? That this is van Gaal's last game as a manager, his final moments on the sideline after 50 years in football?

Yes, actually. Yes, it is.

7. Telling Cristiano Ronaldo he should be taking the penalty instead of Bruno Fernandes...who misses

Mike Dean, Emiliano Martinez
Martinez caused chaos in the build-up to the penalty / Gareth Copley/GettyImages

Time for a brief sojourn in the Premier League now, only to revisit Bruno Fernandes' penalty miss from last season. Trailing 1-0 to Aston Villa at Old Trafford, Manchester United were given a lifeline when Mike Dean awarded them a penalty for handball in the first minute of added time.

Fernandes stepped up to take the penalty but not without Martinez accosting him at the spot and shouting to his teammate, Cristiano Ronaldo, who was standing near the edge of the box, to take it instead. Over and over again. For a solid minute. Insisting that Ronaldo should take it right in front of Fernandes' face.

So simple. So effective. So efficient. Martinez wound up both players and caused Fernandes to sky the penalty over the bar, all without really doing anything. A masterclass in sh*thousery. Just textbook rattling.

We'll get to what he did afterwards later.

6. Throwing the ball away from Steven Berghuis before saving his penalty

Love the subtlety of this one. The way he picks up the ball. The way he looks at the ref. The way he holds it out. The eye contact. The little nod, as if to say "here you go, mate." The timing to then casually toss it to the side as Steven Berguis is about to reach him. The fact that the ball doesn't go very far at all and this is a very, very minor inconvenience. The backwards walk to his goalline. The continued stare down.

The whole thing is *chef's kiss*.

There was no way Berghuis was scoring his penalty after this. He did well to even get it on target, to even connect with the ball. He might as well have just instantly curled up into the foetal position and started sucking his thumb, such was the psychological torture.

I've watched this clip a thousand times and I will watch it a thousand times more. Put up a giant projector screen in the Louvre and play it on repeat. Forever. Show it to the first alien life that makes contact. This...this is human culture. This is the very best of us. This is what we are capable of.

5. Dancing like this after saving Steven Berghuis' penalty

Emiliano Martinez aka Damian Martinez
Martinez doing his best impression of Will from The Inbetweeners / Jean Catuffe/GettyImages

Obviously, Martinez guessed right, dived to his left and saved the shot. He then jumped up quicker than you can say the word "sh*thouse" to do this kind of gleeful little jig, trotting and bouncing from side to side and pumping his arms.

It wouldn't have looked out of place on a wedding dance floor past midnight. Nobody has ever moved their limbs in this manner and combination before. Of that I'm convinced. He's literally just invented a ridiculous tribal dance on the spot. Instantaneously. And therein lies its eternal beauty. This is a cave drawing come to life.

4. Dancing like this after Aurelien Tchouameni's missed penalty

FBL-WC-2022-MATCH64-ARG-FRA
Another penalty save, another iconic dance / ODD ANDERSEN/GettyImages

This one was all in the shoulders. Eyes like a serial killer. Shoulder rolls like John Travolta. Just a strut, a shimmy and the lasting image of a man having an absolute blast... behaving like Tony Adams on Strictly in a World Cup final penalty shootout.

This should be an extremely stressful situation. Hugo Lloris, by comparison, looked like he might vomit up his breakfast at any point. Martinez, though, he's built differently. He was born in the sh*thousery. Moulded by it. He didn't see the Argentina squad until he was already a man.

And do not fear, footage of this is coming up.

3. "I'm sorry but I'm eating you up, brother"

Maybe the first time Martinez properly got to show off his unparalleled capacity to irritate: the Copa America semi-finals in 2021, against Colombia.

Maybe the first time Martinez properly got to show off his unparalleled capacity to irritate: the Copa America semi-finals in 2021, against Colombia.

Up steps Davinson Sanchez. "I'm going to eat you up, brother." Penalty saved. Up steps Yerry Mina. A verbal onslaught. "You're nervous, huh? ...I'm going to eat you up, brother." Penalty saved. Quick, massive pelvic thrust to celebrate.

Up steps Miguel Borja. Martinez is told off by the ref for calling him a rude word. Scores. Sh*thouses Martinez back with his celebration. Fair play. You've got to be able to take it as well.

Up steps Edwin Cardona, who must score. No chance. Penalty saved.

Imagine...just imagine telling two players in a row you are going to eat them up. And then doing it. It's one thing to talk trash, it's another to back it up. You can't just go saying things like that before someone takes their penalty. If they score you look ridiculous. Martinez doesn't mind looking ridiculous.

In fact, that's his preferred aesthetic. See also: holding the Golden Glove trophy as though it was his penis in front of the ENTIRE WORLD.

Martinez did just swallow their efforts. He consumed them whole. Mentally. Physically. Emotionally. A blue whale, to him they were nothing more than krill.

2. Throwing the ball away from Aurelien Tchouameni

Whereas Martinez's disruption of Berghuis was all in the minutiae of the interaction, this is the polar opposite. It's just a man unapologetically chucking the ball away from his opponent. Just blatantly doing a not-very-nice thing in front of the referee. Who, in turn, can't really do anything to stop him. Other than, you know, say "stop doing that".

Tchouameni's reaction, which was to throw his arms up in the air before immediately trudging over to fetch the ball, is the moment France lost the World Cup. He was always going to miss after that. Haven't seen France surrender to outside forces of evil like that since 1940.

And do you know what? Martinez was going the right way regardless. He was saving this one even if Tchouameni did hit it inside the post. The dance is the cherry on top but childishly rolling the ball away is where all the actual damage is done.

Tchouameni, otherwise one of the players of the tournament, may genuinely never recover.

1. Dancing like this after Bruno Fernandes' missed penalty


This is it, for me. The finest bit of penalty sh*thousing Emi Martinez has ever done. The crème de la crème of completely unnecessary, unwarranted b*stardry.

Not only has he gotten into Cristiano Ronaldo's head. Not only has he got into Bruno Fernandes' head. Not only has he Jedi mind-tricked a very good penalty taker into inexplicably smashing his spot-kick over the bar.

He takes the time to do this. To turn to all the United supporters behind him who have probably been giving him pelters all game, and just dance at them. Just wiggle his hips a bit. In their general direction. Honestly, you'd rather someone spit in your face.

You can watch a better clip of the dance here.

It's one thing to do it to the camera or to the opposition, it's a whole other to turn and face a section of home supporters and quietly vibe at them. Imagine how angry they were. Imagine how much they were swearing at him. Wanting to throw objects. Wanting to leave death threats on his Instagram. Just pure losing their minds.

Is it funnier because it's against Manchester United, and this was their first defeat of the season, and it started the run of one win in seven games that ultimately got Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sacked?

Yes. Infinitely.

But it's also how silly it is, how inconsequential, how his first thought after such a dramatic moment in a football match was to turn round and wind people up, just because he could. Just because the opportunity was there.

There are, of course, those who don't like Martinez's behaviour, who will call it arrogant or poor sportsmanship.

To them, all I can say is the following: *stares directly down the lens, silently Cha-Chas towards the camera for four to six seconds*.

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