Argentine goalkeeper Emiliano Dibu Martinez is undoubtedly one of the biggest personalities on the roster, known not only for his lightning-quick reflexes on the pitch but also his quotes and flair off it.
Eagle-eyed fans will have noticed a bit of added color to Martinez’s hair as the shot-stopper took the field against Croatia in the World Cup semifinals.
It’s a style that Martinez has displayed throughout the knockout stage of the tournament, something he says was originally a one-time thing but has transformed into more of a ritual at this point.
As Argentina vie for a spot in the World Cup final, Martinez’s performances in net will be crucial to their fortunes. One of the most beloved players on the roster, Dibu will have the support of the nation fully behind him, and he’s made note of that with his display of national affection.
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What does Dibu Martinez have in his hair?
Emiliano “Dibu” Martinez has painted the colors of the Argentine flag on the left side of his hair.
According to the man himself, the painted hair was the result of a bet between him, Marcos Acuna, Guido Rodriguez, and German Pezzella. Martinez did not elaborate on what the bet entailed, but none of those players have sported colorful hair themselves, so it’s a fair assumption that whatever the bet was, Martinez lost it.
Martinez is known for having a fiery personality, and he celebrates big moments with forceful flair. He made an enormous save on young Australian attacker Garang Kuol in extra-time of their Round of 16 win and was mobbed by his teammates on the ground.
El guardameta argentino con la bandera en la cabeza y también en el corazón. Nunca mejor dicho “guardameta”. Todas las metas, los sueños e ilusiones en las manos de este tipo. Emiliano Dibu Martínez. Héroe nacional. Capítulo dos. pic.twitter.com/9L81b1e7RC
— Lauti (@LMPCarp) December 9, 2022
When did Dibu Martinez color his hair?
Dibu first displayed his colorful hair for the Round of 16 match against Australia, which Argentina won 2-1.
At the time, Martinez said it was “for this game only.” However, he came back out with the colored hair for the next game, in which he played a key role, stopping a pair of penalties in the shootout win over the Netherlands.
Against Croatia in the semifinals, Martinez has gone back to the well and returned to his colorful hairstyle again, as it appears to maybe now be some form of good luck charm for him and the team.
Dibu Martinez games for Argentina
At 30 years old, Emi Martinez has played 24 matches for Argentina at the senior international level.
Martinez has been part of the Argentina international setup for over a decade, making the bench for a pair of friendlies in the summer of 2011. However, for years, Martinez was stuck behind regular starters Sergio Romero and Franco Armani.
Finally, Martinez was brought back into the fold and made his debut in June of 2021 against Chile in World Cup qualification, helping his country work a 1-1 draw. He would go on from there to start 24 of the team’s next 30 matches, and has earned the starting role at the 2022 World Cup.
Martinez has conceded just 10 goals in his 24 international appearances, while keeping an impressive 16 clean sheets. Of his starts for Argentina, 22 have come in competitive environments while just two are in international friendlies.
For this tournament, Martinez’s backups are Armani and Geronimo Rulli.
Emiliano Martinez penalty kick record
Emiliano Martinez has faced a penalty shootout twice in his international career so far, and has seen his team progress both times.
The first came against Colombia in the 2021 Copa America semifinals, where he saved a pair of penalties by Davinson Sanchez and Yerry Mina.
Then, in the 2022 World Cup quarterfinals, Dibu came up big again, stopping efforts from Virgil van Dijk and Steven Berghuis to see the Albiceleste advance to the World Cup semifinal match against Croatia.
In his club career, Martinez has also seen success in a shootout. He helped Arsenal win the 2020 Community Shield on a penalty shootout, although he did not make a save, as a miss by the opposition saw the Gunners claim the trophy.
However, Arsenal and Martinez were also defeated in the 2019/20 EFL Cup fourth round by Liverpool via a penalty shootout where Martinez failed to make a save, defeated when Dani Ceballos’s effort was stopped by Caoimhin Kelleher.