“He’s Machiavelli in football.”
As the 2022 World Cup final descended into a penalty shoot-out, many felt that Argentina had a better chance of coming out victorious. Largely due to the factor of Emiliano Martinez, who masterfully dominates during penalties and knocks opponents off balance.
Three-thok and Martinez’s confidence helped Argentina during the quarter-final series against the Netherlands. The same happened in the final, where Amy made the French mistake twice. Football psychologist Geir Jordet analyzed the actions of the goalkeeper in the championship series.
Here are his observations:
• Martinez took control of the area from the start. While Lloris was completing the coin toss, Emiliano quickly headed for the penalty area, waiting for the opponent to come and as if meeting a guest in his domain: “Now you are in my house!”
• As Lloris approached the box, Martinez initiated the handshake first. The same with Mbappe. This is his style. He can be cute at first, which makes people let their guard down and makes them more vulnerable. Later he strikes – this duality is part of his strategy.
• In the beginning, Martinez’s attacks are quiet and inconspicuous. This is probably in order to get to know the judge and feel the boundaries of what is permitted. In the case of Mbappe, he called on the referee to check the placement of the ball. The referee graciously agreed and gave a thumbs up.
• With Coman, Martinez pushed a little harder, forcing the referee to intervene politely. Again, he asked the referee to check the position of the ball and got a compliant answer. Now Martinez realized that he was in charge in the penalty area, and prepared to get to work to the maximum.
• Goalkeepers rarely celebrate after a penalty. Martinez is an exception. Research shows that large and intense celebrations signal confidence, dominance, and dominance, influencing teammates positively and opponents negatively. Martinez made the most of the first save after Coman’s shot.
• When Tchuameni approached, Martinez had already ceased to embarrass himself in anything: he already knows what he can do and what he cannot do. To begin with, the goalkeeper simply tidied up the ball and walked away as if he were his. While the referee and Tchuameni waited, Martinez took his time and urged the Argentine fans to make noise.
• Martinez then threw the ball into the corner of the box, forcing the opposition to follow him. The disrespect is clear and obvious. No sanctions from the judge.
When Tchuameni got to the ball and got ready, Martinez smiled smugly at him.
It worked – the Frenchman missed the target.
The triumphant dance of the most self-confident Martinez.
• It’s Paredes’ turn to hit for Argentina next. Martinez knew that Lloris, too, could stop being a nice guy and start using mind games. Therefore, Emiliano quickly grabbed the ball, giving Lloris no chance to repeat his last trick. Proactive and efficient.
• Before Colo-Muani’s shot, Martinez turned to talking and gesticulating towards the touch judge. Then he shouted to the Frenchman several times: “I’m watching you!” Now a yellow card is inevitable, but too late. Martinez has already won.
• Conclusion of football psychologist Geir Jordet: “Amy Martinez’s mind games are serious, unpredictable and calculated. He is the Machiavelli of football and he encourages others to copy him and take countermeasures. After such a performance on the biggest stage in the world, it is curious to see how it will develop in the future.”