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World Cup villain or a passionate Villan? Argentina's Emiliano Martinez backs up bravado with his pl


As Gonzalo Montiel scored the winning penalty that made Argentina World Cup champions over France, Emiliano Martínez fell to his knees.


Part of it was exhaustion. Part of it was disbelief. All of it was existential joy.

Martínez's emotions swam in a sea of self-reflection. He couldn't quite believe it. Their goalkeeper, who had made critical saves in the final -- and throughout the tournament in Qatar -- had done it. He was finally a World Cup winner. The Argentinian crowd roared inside Lusail Stadium and across the globe, some possibly chanting his loving nickname based on a cartoon back when he was a youth player. "Dibu! Dibu! Dibu!"


"I couldn't have even dreamed of a World Cup like this one," said an emotional Martínez right after the historic victory. "I don't have words."



On their return to Buenos Aires, a day which had been declared a national holiday by the government, approximately five million people crowded the city's Obelisk monument to commemorate their champions. The scenes were overwhelming as the team was celebrated in the streets. Martínez, surrounded by teammates, dancing and chanting, banging drums and signing flags, giving back to a fanbase who witnessed his greatness, helping the country earn its third World Cup and the first since 1986.


The day was so hectic that their bus couldn't even arrive at its destination because of the crowds surrounding the highways, roads and paths. A failure from a security perspective. In the end, Martínez and his teammates were forced to take helicopters away from the crowd.



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