Emi Martinez almost broke down in tears after reaching the FA Cup final with a win over Manchester City, later explaining why he was so emotional.
Martinez is having a transformative 2020 at Arsenal so far. After Bernd Leno’s injury, he got a run of nine Premier League games at the end of the season. But even before that, he had a strong FA Cup run going.
When the final whistle blew at Wembley last month, Martinez was on the winning side in an FA Cup semi-final, having only conceded two goals in the previous five games.
Combine that with the journey his career took to get there, and the emotion overcame him.
Speaking to the Arsenal website later on, Martinez explained exactly why.
“It was a bit emotional,” Martinez said. “Not because we beat City, who for me are one of the best teams in Europe right now. But more because of how much I have been fighting to play in a final with the club I love.
“It has been 10 years since I joined the club and at the final whistle, everything goes through your head. I wish the fans and my family would be here for the final, obviously with 90,000 or 80,000 people in Wembley, something you don’t play every day.
“I wish my whole family was there [on Saturday]. We came from a poor, poor family and for them to see me there winning a trophy in front of 90,000 people and getting a medal would be something.”
Unfortunately, neither the fans nor Martinez’s family will be there. But they’ll all be watching and hoping the goalkeeper can get his hands on a major club trophy for the first time in his career.