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Paulo Dybala revelation explains just how good Emiliano Martinez is at penalties, he is the master of the dark arts

Ryan Sidle

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Paulo Dybala revelation explains just how good Emiliano Martinez is at penalties, he is the master of the dark arts

Emiliano Martinez is the king of the penalty shoot-out, and it isn't just saving them that he's mastered, with the Argentina goalkeeper's advice helping his teammate score.

Martinez saved a penalty from Kingsley Coman in the shoot-out in the World Cup final, having failed to save two from Kylian Mbappe in the 120 minutes.

It wasn't the first time he'd defied someone either, with the keeper having stopped Virgil van Dijk and Steven Berghuis from putting their efforts away in the quarter-final win over Netherlands.

The Argentina number one's antics during the spot kicks against France saw him throw the ball away to delay Aurelien Tchouameni as the Real Madrid midfielder missed his effort.

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His entire routine throughout the shootout was considered a victory in 'psychological warfare,' and it all came after making one of the greatest saves in World Cup history, right at the end of extra time.

One of his methods to put the opposition off, and to make sure Hugo Lloris couldn't copy his tactics of throwing the ball away, was to deliver the ball to the next taker for Argentina.

Paulo Dybala has now explained that actually helped him score his penalty, with the keeper giving the forward some incredible advice during the exchange.

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Speaking after the trophy parade, the forward revealed, having been. brought on as a late substitute, he was going to go across Lloris, but his teammate talked him out of it.

"The truth is that when the coach called me to enter I knew it was due to penalties, so I had to try to have as cool a head as possible," he said via TyC.

"It's not easy because obviously a world final is not played every day.

"When it was my turn It took me a long time to walk to where the ball was, I couldn't get any further.

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"I had spoken with Dibu [Martinez], he had advised me to shoot in the middle after they had missed, and Lloris was likely to dive.

'I was going to go to his left, the goalkeeper jumped at that stick, but I heard what my partner said and strong in the middle does not fail."

Dybala sends his penalty down the middle. Image: Alamy
Dybala sends his penalty down the middle. Image: Alamy

The Roma star had come in the first minute of injury time at the end of extra time, with not long enough left on the clock for him to make any difference in the game.

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Having come on solely to take a spot kick, it was an extremely difficult task for Dybala to make sure he did the only thing he was there to do correctly.

Last year some England fans bemoaned the fact that Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho were brought on in similar circumstances, and they ended up missing.

Likewise both Pablo Sarabia and Badr Benoun failed to convert their chances, as Spain lost to Morocco in the last 16, having come on late in extra time.

None of those players could call on the expertise of Martinez, who truly is the master of the shoot-out.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Emiliano Martinez, Argentina, France, Football World Cup, Paulo Dybala

Ryan Sidle
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