Emiliano Martinez, Dominik Livkovic, Hugo Lloris, Bono – the semi-finalists’ goalkeepers make the difference. The fans will probably build a monument for you after the World Cup.
by Carsten Muth
12/12/2022 – 4:42 pm
As a player and coach, Jupp Heynckes has achieved almost everything a player and coach can achieve. German champion, cup winner, UEFA Cup winner with Borussia Mönchengladbach, European and world champion with Germany, champion, cup winner and Champions League triumphant with Real Madrid and FC Bayern Munich. So the man should know what he is saying. The 77-year-old came up with football wisdom, according to which the attacker wins the game, while the defense wins the championship. At the World Cup in Qatar it may well be that the goalkeepers decide the title in the end. The semi-finalists, who will fight for two spots in the final from this Tuesday, each have outstanding goalkeepers. They are vital contributors to the success of their teams and are already the stars of this last round. But who are the keepers as Argentina meet Croatia this Tuesday (8pm/ARD) and then on Wednesday France meets Morocco (8pm/ZDF)?
Emiliano Martinez (Argentina) In the quarter-final penalty shoot-out against the Dutch, the 30-year-old saved two attempts to pave the way for the semi-finals for Albiceleste. Martinez only has 24 caps and is under contract with Aston Villa. “We knew he was there for us in the penalty. He’s a beast,” said superstar Lionel Messi. At the World Cup in Qatar, the 1.95-metre-tall Martinez continues a tradition of Argentine international goalkeepers who have made a name for themselves as penalty killers. Sergio Gocchia became the hero for the South Americans in the 1990 World Cup in the quarter-finals against Yugoslavia and the semi-finals against hosts Italy. Sergio Romero disappointed the Dutch in the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Dominik Livkovic (Croatia) Should there be a penalty shoot-out this Tuesday, the Croatians also know they have an expert in their ranks. Dominik Livkovic is the quintessential hero of this world championship in this discipline. The 27-year-old from Croatian serial champion Dinamo Zagreb saved three penalties in the round of 16 against Japan as he robbed the Brazilians of their last nerve in a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-finals.
Levakovic’s star rose in Qatar – as one of the few players in the team to play in the domestic league rather than abroad. The 1.87 meter tall keeper pulled off a number of brilliant saves before the penalty shoot-out against Brazil. Livkovic is now also doing business in Bayern Munich. as a replacement for Manuel Neuer, who has been out for months with a broken right lower leg.
Hugo Lloris (France) Brazil are aiming to become the first team since 1962 to defend The Equipe Tricolore title. Hugo Lloris, world champion with France four years ago in Russia, is also looking to create history again. “We know it is something very special that we can achieve. We are all aware of that,” said the 35-year-old from Tottenham Hotspur. Lloris has been the captain of the French side for ten years and is a goalscorer for the national team. He made his debut in 2008 when he was still playing for Olympique Lyonnais. The 1.88 meter tall goalkeeper played his 143rd international match in the 2-1 victory over England in the World Cup quarter-finals in Qatar. Lloris has surpassed 1998 world champion Lilian Thuram as a record international.
Bono (Morocco) It doesn’t matter if Morocco reaches the final or not, they will probably erect a monument to the goalkeeper at home. Bouno, whose real name is Yassin Bouno, keeps his box clean, no matter how heavy it is. In the knockout games against Spain and Portugal, Morocco faced constant pressure from their opponents. The 27-year-old from FC Sevilla stands out in a passionate, skilful and disciplined defensive line-up. Bono has not yet been away from the game during the tournament. At least not from an opposing kicker. Only Nayef Aguerd’s own goal against Canada left the 1.92 m man powerless.
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