Reax fbl | WC | 2022 | NED | ARG | EmilianoMartinez
Doha, Qatar | AFP | Friday 12/9/2022 - 18:24 UTC-5 | 205 words
Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano 'Dibu' Martínez said "passion and heart" propelled his side into the World Cup semi-finals – and he was delighted to bring joy to his struggling country.
Martínez was one of the heroes of the quarter-final, saving the Netherlands' first two spot kicks in the penalty shootout after the match ended 2-2 following extra time.
Argentina won the shootout 4-3 to move into a semi-final on Tuesday against Croatia, the surprise victors against Brazil.
"We are in the semi-final because we have passion and heart. We are excited, just like the people," Martínez said.
"The first thing that comes to mind is emotion. I do this for 45 million people," he added. "The country is not having a good time due to economic issues and giving joy to people is the most satisfying thing at this time."
He criticised Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz, calling him "crazy and arrogant".
"You say something to him and he speaks badly to you, he gives 10 minutes [of injury time] and gives all the free kicks to the Netherlands," Martínez said.
"Because Spain were eliminated, he wanted us to be knocked out too," he added.
Spain went out to Morocco in the last 16 on Tuesday.