Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez ranked best in the world at Ballon d'Or ceremony

Emiliano Martinez, pictured, has been ranked the number one goalkeeper in the world at the recent Ballon d'Or ceremony. Credit: PA Images

Aston Villa goalkeeper and Argentina international Emiliano Martinez has been given the Yashin award for best goalkeeper at the 2023 Ballon d'Or ceremony.

The trophy, named after legendary goalkeeper Lev Yashin, is awarded after a round of votes from experts.

On top of the Yashin trophy, Martinez was ranked the 15th best football player in the world.

The Aston Villa goalkeeper was welcomed on stage to accept the award to an echo of cheers and boos, with many opposed to the player due to his World Cup antics, where he shuffled and teased French spot-kick takers.

In an emotional moment, Martinez was presented with the award by his father, who has recently struggled with health problems.

In his acceptance speech, Martinez said: "I’m full of emotion to have won this.

“Without my teammates at Aston Villa and in the Argentina national team, this wouldn’t have been possible – this moment in my career.

"I was looking at the screen with the previous award winners and it is a really proud moment to join them.

"We are part of the goalkeepers' union and it is important to stick together!"

Who is Emiliano Martinez?

Martinez was purchased by Aston Villa following their premier league survival in 2020 for a reported £17 million from Arsenal.

Martinez, who is Villa's vice-captain, led them to seventh place in the league last season and has played 134 games, keeping 45 clean sheets.

His record for his native Argentina is more impressive, keeping 25 clean sheets in 34 games and making key saves in the Copa America and World Cup.

However, Martinez is not a figure without controversy, as even when making his way to the stage at the Ballon d'Or, the Aston Villa goalkeeper received a mixed reception of cheers and boos.

Emi Martinez at the World Cup Credit: PA

Martinez is known for his performative antics that football fans both love and hate. In the World Cup Final, after making a last-minute stop, he danced, shuffled, and teased French spot kick takers. What resulted was a World Cup-winning penalty save, with Martinez giving Argentina their first World Cup title in 36 years.

He's also been made infamous for his celebrations after the World cup, pictured making gestures with the World Cup Golden Glove.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...