Aston Villa's Emi Martinez helps sick kids
Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez has helped raise £37,000 for a children’s cancer ward in Argentina by auctioning off his World Cup final gloves.
The money will go to the oncology ward of the Garrahan Hospital in Buenos Aires following an online auction last week.
Martinez was a hero of Argentina’s World Cup final win, saving from France’s Randal Kolo Muani in the final minute of extra-time and then deny Aurelien Tchouameni from the spot in the shoot-out after the match had finished 3-3.
Explaining his decision to auction the autograhped gloves, the Villa keeper explained: “When they gave me the option to donate the World Cup gloves, I didn’t hesitate, it’s a good cause for the boys.
“The World Cup finals are not played every day, (the gloves) are special. But it helps a child much more than me having them hanging in a frame in my house.”
Martinez, who made his 100th appearance for Villa in last Sunday’s 1-1 draw at West Ham, has seen his reputation soar following his impressive, if sometimes controversial exploits at Qatar 2022.
The 30-year-old, who also saved two shoot-out penalties in a quarter-final win over the Netherlands, received the Golden Glove Award for best goalkeeper of the tournament.
Last month he was named goalkeeper of the year at Fifa’s The Best Awards.
Martinez was criticised in the aftermath of the World Cup final for perceived gamesmanship during the shoot-out and for making a lewd gesture, captured on camera, immediately following his receipt of the Golden Glove prize.
Fifa has since launched an investigation into whether any actions by Martinez or his Argentina team-mates after the final breached their regulations.