Unai Emery believes Emiliano Martinez’s World Cup-winning mentality will push Aston Villa on for the rest of the Premier League season.
Martinez helped guide Argentina to glory at Qatar 2022, with his penalty shoot-out heroics in the final against France, and a brilliant save in extra time, key to ensuring La Albiceleste ended their 36-year wait for a third world title.
Having helped Lionel Messi get his clutches on football’s biggest prize, Martinez has courted controversy for his post-tournament celebrations, including mocking France star Kylian Mbappe, whose hat-trick at Lusail Stadium proved fruitless.
Emery, who had previously promised he would speak to Martinez about his antics, believes Martinez’s mentality is an example his club-mates must follow.
“Hopefully he is coming [in] 100 per cent focused on Aston Villa,” Emery told reporters ahead of Villa’s trip to Tottenham.
“Of course, he needs to adapt quickly again. Every Aston Villa supporter must be proud of him.
“We have, in our team and our squad, a winner of a World Cup, which he deserves. He is pushing his team-mates on the training ground every day.
Back to work.
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial)
“When he is coming back we have to try to introduce him again into and to be positive to use his energy and try to use his mentality to help us.”
Villa are perched in mid-table in the Premier League, having lost on their return to action against Liverpool on Boxing Day.