Few players were as imperative to Argentina winning the World Cup at the weekend than Martinez, potentially only Lionel Messi.

Whilst he was beaten three times during the game, two were penalties and one was a moment of inspired brilliance from Kylian Mbappe.

Despite that, it was Martinez who made sure that the game even went to the shoot-out, saving a point blank range effort from Randal Kolo Muani in the dying seconds of extra time, stretching his body as wide as he could to stop it.

When it came to spot kicks, the Aston Villa number one was in his absolute element, trying everything he could to put the opposition off.

It certainly worked out as he saved the effort from Kingsley Coman, before Aurelien Tchouameni put his effort well wide of the post.

Each time one of the French players went up to take a penalty, the keeper was attempting some sort of mind games with the man stepping up.

Now football psychologist Geir Jordet has put together an entire thread to explain how the Argentine won the ‘psychological warfare’ he engaged in.

The games started as early as Martinez beating Hugo Lloris to the penalty box, as if to say that they were entering ‘his house.’

The fact that the 30-year-old is at it straight away to try and put off Mbappe, after the PSG forward had already scored two past him, shows how much he’s up for the task.

Next up the former Oxford United loanee is once again trying to suggest that the referee needs to check the placing of the ball for Coman’s attempt.

This time Szymon Marciniak has to intervene with the keeper, before still going back to the spot to make sure the ball is on it.

Real Madrid midfielder Tchouameni was next up for Didier Deschamps team, with Martinez walking away with the ball, so he the taker can’t properly ready themselves.

Whilst he takes his time returning the ball, the keeper also riles up the Argentina fans behind him, following Messi’s won coin toss that meant they were taken in the ‘home’ end for the South Americans.

He doesn’t hand the ball back to Tchouameni either, deciding to just chuck the ball away and making him work to get it back.

At this point the referee doesn’t book Martinez ‘proving who’s in charge,’ before smiling at the taker before he actually puts boot to ball.

Making sure Lloris can’t get retribution, Martinez then picks up the ball and hands it to teammate Leandro Paredes.

“Emi Martinez’ mind games are big, unpredictable & calculated,”

“He is the Machiavelli of football and has stimulated others to copy him & to create counter moves against him.

“With this display at the world’s biggest stage, I’m curious to see how this will evolve going forward.”

Jordet says in summary.

Source: Jordet

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