Emiliano Martinez has named Lionel Messi as the best teammate he’s ever had

Emiliano Martinez has named Lionel Messi as the best teammate he’s ever had. The Aston Villa goalkeeper plays with the former Barcelona man with the Argentina national team and both men were key to their triumph in the Copa America last summer.

Argentina beat Brazil in the final in Rio de Janeiro to lift their first major title since way back in 1993. Messi was the team’s chief creative presence, scoring and assisting goals, while Martinez was a powerful and impressive presence in the Argentine goal.

“The best [team-mate] I’ve ever had is Messi,” Martinez said to JB Wealth Club in comments carried by Roy Nemer. “As a player, as a leader, as a person. I think he inspired me to be a better goalkeeper, a better version of myself at the Copa America and I’ll always be grateful to him.”

Next up for Argentina, of course, is the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Argentina are already assured of their place – they’re currently second in CONMEBOL qualifying at the time of writing, six points behind first-placed Brazil and six clear of third-placed Ecuador.

Martinez, 29, joined Villa in the summer of 2020 after spending the entirety of his senior career at Arsenal. But he never actually played that much football at the Emirates Stadium – he went out on loan on six different occasions, to Oxford United, Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Getafe and Reading. He’s made 14 appearances for Argentina.

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