Mbappe labels Martinez mocking ‘futile’ as he finally responds to World Cup antics

Joe Williams
Kylian Mbappe celebrates scoring a goal

France forward Kylian Mbappe says he won’t waste his energy on Emiliano Martinez’s “futile” attempts to mock him after the World Cup final.

Martinez was instrumental in Argentina’s penalty shootout victory over France in the World Cup final with the goalkeeper also receiving the tournament’s Golden Glove award at the end of the match.

But he has raised some eyebrows with his actions afterwards with Martinez appearing to make a vulgar gesture with the Golden Glove award before repeatedly deriding Mbappe.

Martinez called for a minute’s silence for Mbappe in the dressing room and received further criticism for celebrations in Buenos Aires when he held aloft a doll bearing the Frenchman’s face.

And Mbappe was measured in his response to Martinez’s actions, preferring to concentrate on his club football at Paris Saint-Germain with the France international scoring a last-gasp penalty as PSG beat Strasbourg 2-1 on Wednesday night.

Mbappe told reporters: “They are not my problem. I don’t have energy to waste on such futile things.

“I’ll never digest it. But like I told my coach and teammates, there’s no reason that my club should pay for a defeat with my national team, it’s two different situations.

“The message was simple – it was to show that, whatever goes on with the national team, PSG is a separate thing and I’m still determined to bring every trophy to the capital.”

Aston Villa boss Unai Emery admitted that he will have to talk to Martinez about his actions but that he was “so proud” of the Argentina goalkeeper for winning the World Cup.

Emery said: “We are so proud of him. He won the World Cup, it’s amazing! Aston Villa fans can be very proud.

“He’s coming back next week so we are expecting him to be ready for the game at Tottenham on New Year’s Day.

“I want him to rest now because after all that hard work and emotion, he needs it. He had an excellent World Cup and we’re looking forward to having him back.”

And former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson thought Martinez showed a “lack of class” towards Mbappe with his celebrations going too far.

Merson told Sky Sports: “Emiliano Martinez mocking Kylian Mbappe during Argentina’s World Cup celebrations showed a lack of class.

“You’re talking about one of the greatest players in the world – what do you want him to do, laugh and joke when he loses the biggest game in football?

“I’m not a huge lover of Martinez, people say he’s a great goalkeeper, he did make great saves in Qatar but I’m not his biggest fan.

“Prior to the tournament, his best football was played during lockdown with Aston Villa.

“Arsenal obviously saw something when they let him go as they weren’t exactly rolling in world-class goalkeepers.

“Martinez was ripping it up at the time but they still decided to sell and keep Bernd Leno. You wonder if that kind of attitude was the reason.

“That said he’s a World Cup winner and was a massive part of it, so you have to take your hat off to him.”

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