Argentina goalkeeper is willing to “fight” for permission for the Olympics

BUENOS AIRES.- World champion goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez stated on Wednesday that he is willing to “fight” with his club Aston Villa of England to represent Argentina at the Paris Olympic Games.

“It is a personal dream of mine to wear the gold medal,†said 'Dibu' Martínez in an interview with the TyC Sports network in Buenos Aires.

The goalkeeper, who with his saves was decisive for the Albiceleste to obtain its third world star in Qatar 2022is one of the footballers over 23 years old who could attend the Olympic event, in which each team can include three.

However, clubs are not obliged to release their players, since the Olympic football tournament is not an official FIFA competition. Hence the majority of participants are Sub23.

“I know that my club did not let any national team player go, it blocked them all,” revealed Martínez, who is with the senior team in Miami preparing for the Copa América that will start on June 20 in United States. Argentina will defend the continental title obtained in 2021.

Argentina is priority:

“I always put the Argentine team ahead and if I have to fight a little more with the club, I will do it,†he said. “It is a wish that I want to play in the Olympic Games, but it does not only depend on me.†.

Local sports media take it as a fact that defender Nicolás Otamendi, from Benfica in Portugal, and forward Julián Álvarez, from Manchester City, both world champions, are going to play in Paris.

Argentina, Olympic champion in 2004 and 2008, will debut against Morocco on July 24 in Group B of the Olympic tournament. The team led by Javier Mascherano will then face Iraq and Ukraine.

Martínez achieved popularity around the world thanks to his solid performance with the South American team in the World Cup two years ago.