June 13, 2021

Aston Villa keeper Emi Martinez ‘knocked out’ in Argentina game sparking fears

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Emiliano Martinez has insisted that he is doing a lot better after help from doctors after he suffered from a loss of consciousness during Argentina’s World Cup qualifier against Colombia on Wednesday.

The former Arsenal stopper has had the best season of his career since joining Aston Villa, keeping 15 clean sheets across 38 Premier League appearances and earning his first international call-up for 10 years.

Having made his debut in the 1-1 draw with Chile last week, he was picked to start against Colombia with Copa America set to begin in Brazil on Sunday.

However, his place in the squad has been thrown into doubt after a heavy landing during the first-half of the fixture, being replaced by Agustin Marchesin with the score finishing at 2-2.

Argentina's goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez (L) is evacuated on a stretcher after an injury during the South American qualification football match for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 between Colombia and Argentina at the Roberto Melendez Metropolitan Stadium in Barranquilla, Colombia, on June 8, 2021.
Aston Villa keeper Emiliano Martinez had to be carried off on a stretcher
(Image: Getty Images)

The fall came following a collision with Everton’s Yerry Mina, and ended with Martinez slamming the back of his head and neck on the pitch.

Speaking after the game, he said: “I’m better, it was a strong hit but the doctors did their job.

“Obviously I wanted to continue playing, the anger of being taken out, and I found out that they drew at the end. It’s a bitter taste but I’m fine.

“They took me out because I lost consciousness a little; I hit the back of my neck hard but the crying and the anger was because it was my second match with the national team and I didn’t want to be substituted. But the doctors did their job.”

Should Arsenal have kept Emi Martinez? Let us know in the comments.

Lionel Messi of Argentina talks to referee Roberto Tobar as Emiliano Martinez Goalkeeper of Argentina receives medical attention after receiving a foul during a match between Colombia and Argentina as part of South American Qualifiers for Qatar 2022 at Estadio Metropolitano on June 08, 2021 in Barranquilla, Colombia.
Lionel Messi and Argentina will be desperate to have Emiliano Martinez back
(Image: Getty Images)

Martinez will return to Buenos Aires with his team-mates ahead of the upcoming tournament, but boss Lionel Scaloni will be keeping a close eye on his condition.

Following a change in venue, there had been fears that teams would pull out of the showpiece.

Those fears have since been ended for fans of Argentina, with Lionel Messi looking to banish memories of two runners-up medals and a third place finish in their last three outings.

Goalkeepers of Argentina Agustin Marchesin (L) and Emiliano Martinez warm up before a match between Argentina and Chile as part of South American Qualifiers for Qatar 2022 at Estadio Unico Madre de Ciudades on June 03, 2021 in Santiago del Estero, Argentina.
Agustin Marchesin came on to replace Emiliano Martinez for Argentina
(Image: Getty Images)

“The Argentine National Team confirms its participation in the Copa America 2021, as reflected by its sporting spirit throughout its history,” wrote the AFA in a statement.

“With a huge effort from the Argentine Football Association, which placed at everyone’s disposal all the necessary tools available to guarantee each of the specific care requested in this difficult time we are going through, the National Team will travel to Brazil to play the continental tournament.

“All the staff of the Albiceleste team will work together to overcome this adversity that, unfortunately, affects all South Americans equally.”

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