Kylian Mbappe dismisses Emiliano Martinez’s ‘futile’ taunts during World Cup celebrations

The Aston Villa goalkeeper has been criticised for his behaviour during celebrations after Argentina’s World Cup triumph

Jack Rathborn
Thursday 29 December 2022 12:16 GMT
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Kylian Mbappe has dismissed Emi Martinez's taunts after winning the World Cup with Argentina as "futile".

The France forward was the target of the Aston Villa goalkeeper during celebrations, with Martinez calling for a minute's silence for Mbappe and then posing throughout a parade with a doll depicting the Paris Saint-Germain superstar.

Martinez has been widely criticised after riling opponents throughout the Albiceleste's historic run, but Mbappe has resisted the opportunity to fire back.

“Celebrations are not my problem,” Mbappe told RMC Sport. “I don’t waste energy on such futile things.”

In addition to his antics during penalty shoot-outs against the Netherlands and Les Bleus in the final, Martinez made a rude gesture when awarded the trophy for the tournament’s best goalkeeper.

His behaviour has seen him labelled as “the most hated man” by former France defender Adil Rami. While congressman Karl Olive said Fifa should rescind his best goalkeeper award.

Patrick Vieira also labelled Martinez’s actions as “stupid”, adding: “Some of the pictures I saw from the Argentinian goalkeeper, I think, take away a little bit what Argentina achieved at the World Cup,” Vieira said at Palace’s pre-match press conference.

“I don’t think they really needed that. You can’t control sometimes people’s emotional decisions. But that was a stupid decision, I think, from Martinez to do that.”

Martinez is set to return to Bodymoor Heath on Thursday and could feature in Aston Villa’s New Year’s Day match against Tottenham Hotspur.

Mbappe also confirmed there is no tension between himself and club teammate Lionel Messi.

“I spoke with him after the match, I congratulated him,” Mbappe added.

“It was the quest of a lifetime for him, for me too, but I failed, so you always have to be a good sportsman.”

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