Argentina couldn't feel happier with Emiliano Martinez. The Aston Villa goalkeeper is one of the most beloved players in his country despite he never got to play in Argentina and it's not been even a year since he made his international debut.
That should speak volumes about the impact Dibu made at La Albiceleste. Martinez, who left his native country as a teenager to join the academy of Arsenal, has been waiting for years to have an opportunity. And when he got it, he seized it.
Martinez, who knew what it was like to wait for a chance since his time in North London, has been patient and it paid off. As soon as Lionel Scaloni started him, Dibu won the job and went on to live unforgettable moments, including a long-awaited Copa America success. That's why it might be surprising not to see him play in the next World Cup Qualifier games.
Why is Emiliano Martinez not playing for Argentina vs. Venezuela or Ecuador?
To understand why Martinez is not playing for Argentina in the final double-fixture of the South American Qualifiers, we have to go back to the infamous, suspended game in Brazil. 5 minutes into the match, health authorities stormed into the field in an attempt to deport four players who'd have broken Covid protocols in entering Brazil.
As you may know, the game was suspended and FIFA took its time to make a decision. Eventually, the governing body decided that the match should be resumed and it also punished the four players in question: Emiliano Martinez, Giovani Lo Celso, Cristian Romero, and Emiliano Buendia.
Like the aforementioned players, Martinez received a two-match ban that prevents him from playing in the March double-fixture. Argentina have still called him up hoping that the suspension is lifted. But even if it is not overturned, they do not have much to worry about as La Albiceleste have already sealed a place in Qatar 2022.