Argentina goalkeeper Emi Martinez has revealed how Lionel Messi acted as the driving force behind his stellar performances in the Copa America. The Aston Villa goalkeeper believes the Barcelona star’s words of encouragement helped him reach new heights during the course of the tournament.
Messi ended his wait for an international trophy earlier this month by lifting the Copa America. The Argentine finished as the top scorer and the best player, while Emi Martinez won the Golden Glove.
While speaking with Ole, Martinez heaped praise on Messi, saying the Argentine captain’s willingness to push his teammates to the limit helped them succeed in the tournament.
“That he posts a photo with the caption ‘he’s a phenomenon’, how can I not perform in a final? I want to give him life, I want to die for him,” Martinez said. “You want to play with the best player in the world and watching him play made me secure and made me better.”
“You say ‘he made the players excited’ – me too, and I’m a goalkeeper. I wish I had played every match in a league with him. I would be a much better goalkeeper. I was with the national team for 45 days having come off a great season with Aston Villa where I got much better but with the national team, I got better by 10% or 15%.”
Lionel Messi is still a free agent
Lionel Messi might have ended his wait for an international trophy, but the Argentine is currently without a club. His Barcelona contract expired at the end of the season, and he is yet to pen a new deal.
Barcelona are working on reducing their wage bill before handing Messi a new contract. La Liga have warned the Catalan club that they will not be able to register any of their new signings because they have exceeded their wage limit.