Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez has denied mocking France and PSG star Kylian Mbappe with controversial World Cup celebrations.
Emiliano Martinez saved a Kingsley Coman penalty to help Argentina win the 2022 World Cup after a dramatic 3-3 after extra time.
Kylian Mbappe scored a hat-trick and converted his penalty but ended up losing the trophy to Argentina after Emiliano Martinez pulled a heroic display to crown Lionel Messi’s effort with the World Cup trophy.
After taking a due pound of flesh from the Les Bleus, who eliminated them from the knockout of the 2018 edition of the tournament, Emiliano Martinez called for a minute’s silence for Mbappe and held a doll with Kylian Mbappe’s face during Argentina’s World Cup celebrations.
His World Cup celebration antics was branded by most pundits and the French media as “disrespectful.”. Now, he has come out to deny mocking or disrespecting the PSG talisman.
Kylian Mbappe starred for France as they came close to defending the trophy they won four years ago in Russia. However, after Lionel Messi’s brace nearly saw Argentina win the game after extra time, Emiliano Martinez was another Argentine who helped Argentina win their third World Cup trophy.
Despite a heroic goalkeeping, the Aston Villa and Premier League goalkeeper fell off a bit from class, taking to controversial antics to celebrate Argentina’s World Cup win.
The French media, including other football pundits, were quick to pounce on him for making the PSG and France talisman the center of his mocking celebrations.
Ironically, after saving Kingsley Coman’s penalty, Emiliano Martinez was the first opponent trying to console Kylian Mbappe at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar.
However, his off-field celebrations sparked reactions, with many questioning whether he hasn’t gone too far with the World Cup Golden Boot winner.
After returning to PSG, Kylian Mbappe dismissed Martinez’s actions by claiming that he was not bothered by them.
Now, the Aston Villa goalkeeper, in an interview with France Football, has finally addressed the seemingly bizzarre scenes he led to mock Mbappe after the World Cup win.
Martinez said he just held the baby doll for only two minutes and threw it away, and did nor mean to disrespect the PSG talisman.
‘I held it [baby doll] for like two minutes and I threw it away, that’s all’, said Martinez.
‘How can I make fun of Mbappe? He scored four past me. Four goals in a final! He must think I am his toy baby! I have huge respect for Mbappe.’
The Aston Villa goalkeeper also revealed what he said to Mbappe while consoling him.
‘I told him he should be proud of himself and keep his head high, because he played a fantastic game and that he was one of the best players in the world,’ he added.
‘He was flying, we could not stop him.’
Martinez started to dance when Aurelien Tchouameni was about to take his penalty. It his believed his mind game worked perfectly as the Real Madrid star put his penalty wide in the shootout.
Argentina won the 2022 World Cup, making it the third time the South American giants have won the trophy.
Meanwhile, Lionel Messi was at the center of the conversation after he finally crowned his 18-year-old historic football career with the World Cup trophy.
There were reports Emiliano Martinez-led bizarre celebration after the World Cup win must have broken the chord of friendship between Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe.
Kylian Mbappe was absent from the guard of honor mounted by PSG players and staff when Messi returned to the team after the World Cup victory.
However, the two players have played down Emiliano Martinez’s celebration antics and have denied rifts between each other.