Emiliano Martinez bitter about the Sao Paulo shambles

‘It is a shame because we were going to WIN’: Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez admits to ‘bitter feeling’ after Sao Paulo shambles which saw health officials detain him and three Argentina players before Brazil match was abandoned

  • Brazilian health officials tried to deport Argentina keeper Emiliano Martinez
  • Emiliano Buendia, Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero were others involved 
  • Martinez criticised what he called ‘political reasons’ for the game’s stoppage 
  • Martinez and Buendia have been released early from international duty 

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez says the shambles of Sao Paulo, a World Cup qualifier abandoned as Brazilian health officials tried to deport him and three Argentina team-mates, has left a bitter taste.

‘It is a shame because we were going to win,’ said Martinez. ‘We were confident, the team was doing well. We prepared for three days in Brazil to play the game and to have it cancelled after five minutes is a bitter feeling.

‘We had everything to win it and for political reasons, I don’t know what happened, it was cancelled and we had to go back. We did not understand. We waited to see if we would go back out. Then they told us we had to go.’

Emiliano Martinez (left) admitted he feels bitter after the Sao Paulo shambles which saw the World Cup qualifier between his side Argentina and Brazil called off midway through the game

There was a huge ruckus on the pitch as health officials dramatically stormed the field of play

Martinez was talking to TyC Sports at Ezeiza Airport in Buenos Aires after he and Villa team-mate Emi Buendia were released early from international duty as part of the agreement between club and country.

They are expected to spend the next 10 days in Croatia to avoid the strict hotel quarantine they would have to observe travelling to England from South America. They can at least train before flying back without restrictions from Croatia, currently on the UK’s green list.

‘The four of us decided to come for the love of the shirt,’ added Martinez. ‘Even though all of the Premier League did not want to come, we decided to come anyway. 

Martinez now has to quarantine in Croatia and could miss several matches for Aston Villa

‘After winning the Copa America, the whole team wants to be with the group, not just to give the team victory.

‘It is something beautiful and we assume the consequences.’ Martinez’s brother Alejandro told Radio Rivadavia how he was unable to fly from Brazil to Croatia because the squad were ordered back to Buenos Aires.

It means Martinez and Buendia will miss Saturday’s game at Chelsea and be back at the earliest a week on Friday, a day before Villa face Everton. 

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