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£17m star Arsenal sold has just finished above Bukayo Saka & Martin Odegaard in 2023 Ballon d’Or

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez & Arsenal duo Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard have had their places confirmed for the 2023 Ballon d’Or.

Three years after Arsenal sold Emiliano Martinez to Aston Villa for £17 million (Sky Sports), the thriving goalkeeper has made huge strides in his career.

From becoming Aston Villa’s main guy in between the sticks, helping them secure 14 clean sheets in his first season at the club and a return to Europe this summer.

But Emiliano Martinez has had the biggest success on the international stage, becoming Argentina’s undisputed number one and playing a key role in winning the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

As a result, the 31-year-old was ranked 15th for the 2023 edition of the Ballon d’Or, higher than his former Arsenal teammate Bukayo Saka, who was placed 24th.

Whilst his captain Martin Odegaard came in at 28th after scoring 15 goals and supplying eight assists last season as Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal narrowly missed out on the Premier League title.

2023 FIFA Men’s Ballon d’Or

Emiliano Martinez’s rise

For large parts of Martinez’s career at Arsenal, he struggled to become number one and largely played a backup role whilst going out on several loans.

But that call to switch to Villa has transformed his life and career because it provided him with a platform to sing and dance like he wanted.

And he did that in many ways, even if it did rile up the opposition because his penalty heroics and stoppage-time saves at the World Cup are something that has put him into the legendary books of Argentinan football.

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