Argentina are world champions for a third time, after edging France on penalties in a heart-stopping final that will live long in the memory. Qatar 2022 will chiefly go down as Lionel Messi’s World Cup, but the Paris Saint-Germain star was by no means the Argentines’ only hero; their triumph also owed much to the exploits of Emiliano ‘Dibu’ Martínez, who was awarded the Golden Glove as the goalkeeper of the tournament.
Martínez’s family life
By becoming a world champion, Martínez has reached the pinnacle of the men’s game – and as a proud family man, it is an achievement that he will savour together with his wife, Mandinha, and their children.
He and Mandinha married in 2017, having got to know each other four years earlier. “He met her waiting for the bus that he took to go train with [former club] Arsenal,” Martínez’s best friend, Alejandro Muñoz, told Infobae. Martínez and Mandinha have a son and a daughter: Santi, four, and Ava, one. When Santi was born, his “heart had stopped” at the time of delivery, so doctors had to perform “an emergency C-section – it was very hard,” Mandinha revealed in an interview with Telefe.
Martínez’s business interests
In addition to his on-the-field feats, Martínez has also enjoyed success in the business world. The 30-year-old now has his own playable NFT character in MetaSoccer, a football metaverse in which video gamers can manage their own club and generate income in cryptocurrency, depending on the performance of their players.
Meanwhile, the Aston Villa goalkeeper is the face of Mostaza, one of the largest fast-food chains in Argentina. He has even launched his own hamburger at the restaurant, the ‘Mega Dibu’.
Martínez has also published a children’s book, Dibu Martínez, Pasión por el Fútbol (’Dibu Martínez, Passion for Football’), in which he talks about his career, how he fell in love with the sport, and the hard work behind his rise to the top. The book went on sale in October.