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Argentina World Cup hero mocks Real Madrid youngster: “He screwed up everything”

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Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Emiliano Martinez has been in the headlines following his key role in helping Argentina win the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar earlier this month.

The Aston Villa goalkeeper was a key performer for La Albiceleste throughout the tournament and came up clutch in the finals as well. With the score at 3-3 in extra-time, he pulled off a marvelous save to deny France striker Randal Kolo Muani to force the game into penalties.

Once the shootout started, Martinez made a top stop to keep Kingsley Coman out, which put pressure on France’s next taker – Aurelien Tchouameni.

The 22-year-old Real Madrid ace had been a mainstay for France throughout the tournament in Qatar, but was entering a pressure-cooker situation in the shootout in the finals of the World Cup.

And Martinez, in a recent interview, has admitted that he played mind games with Tchouameni to make him miss the target, at which he eventually succeeded.

“When I saved the first penalty, I knew the other boy (Tchouameni) was going to be very nervous. I tried to play him mentally, throwing the ball away, saying things to him. And he shot outside, he screwed up everything,” Martinez said (h/t MARCA).

Despite the penalty miss, there is no taking away that Tchouameni had a solid World Cup. In the biggest tournament of his career to date, the young midfielder held his own and carried the France midfield in the absence of stalwarts like Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante.

The Real Madrid ace has been targeted by racist abuse on social media following the finals of the World Cup – much like Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka of England were last year when they missed from the penalty spot in the UEFA Euro 2020 against Italy.

The midfielder is expected to rejoin Real Madrid in training next week, just before the team plays Real Valladolid in their first La Liga match after the World Cup break.

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Real Madrid News

National team manager reveals plans for Real Madrid wonderkid at the Euros

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Photo by WOJTEK RADWANSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Following a solid end to his debut campaign at Real Madrid, Arda Guler is all set to play a key part for Turkey at the UEFA Euro 2024.

The 19-year-old wonderkid struggled with injuries during the first half of the last season at Real Madrid but eventually made the most of his chances towards the final phase of the campaign.

All in all, Guler finished the 2023/24 season with a tally of six goals from 12 matches, winning La Liga, Spanish Super Cup, and the UEFA Champions League.

Vincenzo Montella’s plans for Guler with Turkey

A special talent like Guler, who is attracting a lot of interest heading into the summer, has what it takes to be a differential player for the Turkish national team.

Turkey manager Vincenzo Montella. (Photo by OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images)

Ahead of their Euro opener against Georgia next week, Turkey manager Vincenzo Montella gave an insight into how he plans to use the Real Madrid youngster – whether as a starter or from the bench, and his position.

“Arda generally played on the right wing in both Fenerbahçe and Real Madrid. If he played alone, he could be number ten, but for now, he seems to be closer to playing on the right wing,” said Montella (h/t Sporx).

On whether Guler is ready to start in the major European tournament, he added: “The most important thing is to be able to establish balance well. He played well in the last match, and we have the desire to start with him. However, I am still in the decision stage.”

So far, Guler has made seven appearances for the Turkish national team, in which he has netted one goal. And, he will be looking forward to adding to that tally at the Euros, whether he starts as a right-winger or a No. 10.

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