The goalkeeper of the Argentine national team and the English Aston Villa Emiliano ‘Dibu’ Martínez warned this Friday about the challenges involved in playing in South America, in response to the French star Kylian Mbappé who estimated that South American football is less advanced than European.
“Bolivia in La Paz (ndlr: 3,600 meters above sea level), Ecuador with 30 degrees, Colombia that you can’t even breathe. They always play on perfect fields, wet and they don’t know what South America is,” Martínez said in statements to the Argentine channel T&C Sports from the Spanish city of Bilbao, where the Albiceleste is concentrated for the duel with Italy at Wembley on June 1.
The goalkeeper insisted on the conditions that players from the region have to face when they play the South American qualifiers.
“Every time you travel to play with the National Team, it’s two days there and back. You’re exhausted and you can’t train much. When an Englishman goes to train in England in half an hour, he’s on the field. Let him go to Bolivia, Colombia or Ecuador Let’s see how easy it is for them,” he replied to Mbappé.
The 23-year-old French PSG star said days ago that South American football “is not as advanced” as European football.
“The advantage we Europeans have is that we always play against each other and we have high-level matches all the time, such as in the Nations League,” Mbappe said.
“When we get to the World Cup, we’re ready. Argentina and Brazil don’t have that level. In South America, football isn’t as advanced as it is in Europe. That’s why, when you watch the latest World Cups, it’s always the Europeans who they win,” said the Frenchman.
Lautaro Martínez, striker for the Argentine national team and Inter Milan, considered that the statement “was not fair.”
For the Inter attacker, “Argentina and Brazil have players of great hierarchy and a high level. Brazil also has a squad where most of them play in Europe. It seemed to me that it was an unfair statement”.
“But well, we are preparing for this match, to give our best and we will start thinking fully about what is coming, which is the World Cup” in Qatar-2022, he said in reference to the ‘Finalissima’ that Argentina and Italy, as champions of America and Europe, respectively.