Fans pinpoint ‘moment entire footballing timeline changed’… and it all goes back to Arsenal’s fateful trip to Brighton | The Sun
FOOTBALL fans have claimed Arsenal's Bernd Leno suffering a horrific injury against Brighton in June 2020 was the "moment the entire footballing timeline changed".
Leno's injury caused by Brighton's Neal Maupay marked a turning point in the career of second-choice Gunners keeper Emiliano Martinez – who went on to win the World Cup last year.
Arsenal's fateful trip to Brighton may have ended in a 2-1 defeat but the game gave the limelight to Martinez.
One fan pinpointed that "this singular event changed the whole footballing timeline".
Before that game, the Argentine had been a back-up shot-stopper for the Gunners for a decade and made as many Premier League appearances – six – as he'dhad loan spells.
In 2020 he never even played for Argentina but in the first half of Arsenal's defeat at Brighton, Maupay's awkward clash with Leno changed everything for the 31-year-old.
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With Leno now out Martinez was in – a chance he had been dying for.
The Argentine helped the Gunners overcome their worst Premier League finish since 1995 after they lifted the FA Cup.
Martinez then made a move to Aston Villa for £20million during the summer of 2020.
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His top form for Villa earned him his Argentina debut in June 2021 and then later that year he lifted the Copa America with his country – and was named the tournament's best goalkeeper.
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This cemented his status as first choice keeper for the World Cup in Qatar.
His heroics in the penalty shootout against France in the final secured Argentina the title and him the Golden Glove.
On Monday night he continued his in credible rise, securing the Yashin Trophy at the Ballon d'Or ceremony for the best-performing goalkeeper.
And that is why fans have concluded that without Maupay's nudge, Martinez's extraordinary journey would never have happened.
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