Geir Jordet, a Professor Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, who also claims to be a football psychologist has decoded the mind games played by Argentine footballer Emiliano Martínez.
To the unknowns, just when everyone was hailing Messi and Mbappe for the spectacular performance in the World Cup finals, Emiliano Martinez’s obscene gesture holding the trophy went viral.
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Martinez’s antics have been hugely debated ever since. While many support this behaviour of Martinez not many have approved this antic. Soon after this came the tweet of the psychologist.
After the psychologist’s tweets on his mind games started circulating over social media, Martinez’s performance is being scrutinized thoroughly.
Jordet has shared his analysis on the performance of Martinez in a series of tweets.
“He took the ownership of the penalty area”
“Martinez set the stage and took ownership of the penalty area from the beginning. While Lloris completed the coin toss, Martinez quickly walked to the penalty area, waiting for Lloris to come, like he was welcoming a visitor to his own home: “You’re in my house now!,”tweets Jordet.
“He initiates a handshake”
“When Lloris arrives, Martinez initiates a handshake. Same w Mbappé. This is his style. He can be warm & lovely at first, which makes people drop their guard, leaving them more vulnerable when he later strikes. This ambiguity is in itself abusive and part of his strategy,” he tweets.
Where he tries to know the referee
At the start of the shootout, Martinez’ disruptions are quiet & subtle. This is probably to get to know the referee and feel out where the line is drawn. With Mbappe, he urges the referee to check the ball placement. The referee kindly obliges and responds with a ‘thumb up’, Jordet writes.
Where he forced the referee to intervene
With Coman, Martinez is pushing a little bit harder, forcing the referee to politely intervene.
Again, he gets the referee to check ball placement, and elicits a compliant response.
Now, Martinez knows he commands the penalty area & he can fully get to work.
Where he made an exceptional case by celebrating after penalty saves
Goalkeepers rarely celebrate big after penalty saves. Martinez is an exception.
Research shows that big & intense celebrations signal confidence, dominance & superiority, affecting teammates positively & opponents negatively. Martinez capitalizes maximally on his first save.
Where he disrespects Tchouaméni
When Tchouaméni is up, Martinez is confident in what he can and cannot do & he’s done with being subtle.
First, he simply walks away with the ball, like it’s HIS. While the referee and Tchouaméni wait, he takes his time with it while urging the Argentinean fans to make noise.
Then, instead of handing the ball to Tchouaméni, Martinez throws it away, forcing the opponent to fetch it. The disrespect is clear & obvious.
No sanctions from the referee. This tells everyone who’s in charge.
When Tchouaméni is ready, Martinez gives him a smug smile.
Where he stopped giving any clue to Lloris
“Paredes then for Argentina.
Martinez knows Lloris might stop being nice & use Martinez’ mind games against the Argentinean players. He therefore quickly grabs the ball & hands it over himself, not giving Lloris any chance to copy his latest move.
Proactive & effective,” Jordet tweets.
“I’ve watched you!”
With the 4th French penalty taker, Kolo Muani, Martinez first seems to communicate & gesture with a staff member on the sideline about Kolo Muani. Then he says several times “I’ve watched you!”.
Now, the yellow card is inevitable, but too late, Martinez has basically won.
“Machiavelli of football”
“Emi Martinez’ mind games are big, unpredictable & calculated. He is the Machiavelli of football and has stimulated others to copy him & to create counter moves against him. With this display at the world’s biggest stage, I’m curious to see how this will evolve going forward,” he writes in the last tweet.
Here is the complete thread:
Argentina is world champion after a penalty shootout master class. At the core of their performance is goalkeeper Emi Martinez’ mind games.
Martinez dominated the French penalty takers, forcing two misses.
Here’s a step-by-step description of his tricks in the final. Thread. 1/ pic.twitter.com/iujg2Sk1U0
— Geir Jordet (@GeirJordet) December 19, 2022