Emi Martinez makes plea to Lionel Messi to join Aston Villa
By Sean Walsh
Emi Martinez has joked that he would make roast dinners for Lionel Messi if he were to join him at Aston Villa.
The duo have forged a close bond since Martinez was first called into the Argentina setup back in 2021, winning the Copa America and World Cup together.
90min understands PSG have accepted that Messi will leave the club when his contract expires this summer. Barcelona are confident that they can reach an agreement to bring the forward back to Camp Nou, though they face competition from Saudi Pro League side Al Hilal.
But in an interview with ESPN Argentina, Martinez put forth an offer to Messi to link up with him at Aston Villa.
"If Leo is whistled, I would bring him to Aston Villa. I would bait him with a mate [tea], I'd make roasts for him every weekend, I'd ask people to make little flags for him and he has a good time. I will reduce my salary for Messi if necessary," Martinez said.
Aston Villa are on the verge of a return to European football and will secure a Europa Conference League spot with a win against Brighton on the final day of the Premier League season. They sit one point ahead of Tottenham and two clear of Brentford.
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Martinez gained global notoriety for his match-winning antics in the 2022 FIFA World Cup final, providing huge saves during the 3-3 draw with France before saving Kingsley Coman's effort in their penalty shootout victory.
He opened up on how Argentina's triumph has helped him mentally in the aftermath of games since.
"It has happened to me to lose a game, get home and not talk to anyone. It’s hard to find that balance," he added.
"Luckily, I have my wife and my children who help me calm down in those moments of anguish. I have cried for losing a game, I have laughed too much for winning a game. Accepting defeat is not in my blood.
"What I learned the most from the World Cup is peace of mind when it comes to taking care of a result. Because of the pressure I went through, for example when Netherlands tied us. For having taken France to a 3-3 tie and almost losing it. I suffered so much that now I play the matches with much more experience."
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