At 17 years old, Emiliano Martinez made a move to England with no family in tow as he was thrown into the depths of independence. It was a new country, a new language and a new life in North London.
He recently described leaving home and recalled the pleading of his Mother and Brother, begging him ‘please don’t go.’ Yet, as he witnessed his father crying because he could not pay the bills, away he went for new and better beginnings for both he and his family back home.
Emiliano Martinez: His Journey to the Top at Arsenal
A True Underdog Story
That day, Martinez became the hero in Argentina and the hero for his family; 10 years and a few loan spells later, and he has just become an Arsenal hero by lifting the club’s 14th FA Cup. Martinez’s underdog story perfectly coincides with the ‘magic of the Fa Cup’ as tears followed triumph on an unforgettable and emotional day for the Arsenal ‘keeper.
His story sums up life as a number two between the sticks, too, with the door, for most of the season, slammed shut by Bernd Leno in the Arsenal goal. One injury changed everything, however, and Leno’s agony soon turned to Martinez’s joy and the chance that had been a decade in the making.
Life as a Backup
From League Two to the Championship, the 27-year-old worked and worked for a long-awaited opportunity in the so-called promised land. Since taking the place of the injured Leno, he has not looked back. At 27 years old, a decade after bidding farewell to Argentina and his family struck with poverty, the hard work and sacrifices have finally paid off for Emiliano Martinez in true underdog story style.
Next season could prove to be even better for the Arsenal shot-stopper, too, with performances against Manchester City, Liverpool, and Chelsea earning Martinez the right to commence battle with Leno for the starting spot under Arteta.
It was another magical day at Wembley for the Gunners which saw the opening of a new chapter under Mikel Arteta with Martinez’s story a fitting narrative in between.
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