Emiliano Martinez opens up on his hard upbringing ahead of FA Cup final

Emiliano Martinez is the new hero at the Emirates after his performances for Arsenal in the absence of Bernd Leno helped the club to reach the final of the FA Cup as well as to get back to form in the Premier League.

The Argentinean had not had a decent run in the first team before now and there were genuine fears that he might not be able to thrive in goal for Arsenal.

He has, however, killed all those fears with some of the finest displays by any goalkeeper since he has been between the sticks for the Gunners.

Struggling to break into the Arsenal first team after being shipped out on loan to several teams isn’t the first time that he has struggled in life and he just spoken about his upbringing back in Argentina.

He talked about lacking basic things and watching his parents struggling to feed himself and his sibling at the time.

He also revealed that his father travelled for more than 20 hours to watch him in his Champions League debut.

He recalls via Sun Sports: “My mum Susana and my brother Alejandro were crying when I was leaving for London and saying ‘Please don’t go’.

“But I had also seen my dad Alberto crying late at night because he couldn’t afford to pay the bills.

“I remembered the days that me and my brother ate and not my parents, so I knew exactly what they were going through.

“At that time I was living in Buenos Aires and playing for Independiente and I would only see my family twice a month because they couldn’t afford the petrol to drive from their home in Mar Del Plata.

“So when Arsenal offered to buy me, I had to be brave. I was 17-years-old and I said ‘yes’ for my parents.

“I haven’t seen my mum and dad for a year because of lockdown but at least we can now afford to pay the bills so they can watch me playing in the final on TV.

“We came from a poor, poor family and for them to see me winning a trophy and getting a medal would be something special.

“When I made my Champions League debut against Anderlecht in 2014, my dad travelled 21 hours to come and see me.

“He got a bus for six hours to the airport, flew 13 hours to London and then took another flight to Belgium.

“He got there just in time for kick-off and spent the entire 90 minutes crying because he was proud.”

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