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Aston Villa's Emi Martinez starts for Argentina in World Cup opener with Saudi Arabia

Aston Villa's Emi Martinez has been named in the Argentina side to take on Saudi Arabia in their World Cup opener today.

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez
Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez

The Villa stopper, who has 19 caps for his country, is yet to play in a World Cup but will make his bow in their tournament opener in Qatar.

The 30-year-old and his Argentina team mates go into the game as huge favourites against their lowly ranked opponents - and it promises to be an emotional moment for the keeper, who only made his international debut in 2021.

Ahead of the tournament, Martinez revealed he was looking forward to seeing his father and his family in the crowd as he makes his World Cup debut - less than a year after his father suffered a heart attack that nearly killed him.

Martinez said: "I’m looking forward to seeing my dad’s face when the anthem is about to play,” explains the Villa and Argentina goalkeeper. “My family come from a poor background and making the World Cup is a dream come true.

“The tears might be there, maybe not. I’m so proud to be Argentinian. It will be such a proud day for me and my family.

"It was a hard year. I had to travel through the season to go and see him. It was really difficult. Having him there in Qatar is going to be really amazing.”

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