Wednesday, April 24News That Matters

Emi Martinez mocks Mbappe in Argentina dressing room after consoling him on pitch

Emiliano Martinez was seen mocking France hero Kylian Mbappe in the Argentina dressing room after the World Cup final in Qatar.

Mbappe scored just the second World Cup final hat-trick on Sunday, England’s Sir Geoff Hurst scored the first in 1966 – but still suffered a defeat to Argentina at the Lusail Stadium.

Argentina took a 2-0 lead thanks to early goals from Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria, but Mbappe’s late brace turned the game on its head and sent the 2022 final into extra-time.

Mbappe scored again in the extra-time but only after Messi had restored Argentina’s lead with his seventh goal of the competition, meaning penalties were needed to crown the new world champions.

Paris-Saint-Germain star Mbappe stepped up to scored a third penalty of the game beyond Martinez, but the Aston Villa keeper saved Kingsley Coman’s effort before appearing to put off Tchouameni, who fired wide.

Gonzalo Montiel scored the winning spot-kick, sparking wild celebrations from the Argentina squad and supporters, which continued in the dressing room.

In one video shared on social media, Martinez is seen asking his team-mates for a ‘minute’s silence’ for Mbappe before they continued to celebrate in their first World Cup triumph since 1986.

Martinez, who moved to Aston Villa from Arsenal in 2020, collected the Golden Glove award for the best goalkeeper in the Qatar World Cup, while Mbappe won the Golden Boot after finishing the competition with eight goals.

After Argentina’s World Cup victory, Martinez said: ‘We suffered a lot. We thought we were in control but they managed to come back.

‘It was a very complicated game. Our destiny was to suffer. They had one last chance to win [when he saved Randal Kolo Muani’s late shot], luckily I was able to stop it with my foot.

‘This is a moment I’ve always dreamed of living, I have no words for it. I left very young for England and I would like to dedicate this victory to my family.’

Martinez’s France counterpart Hugo Lloris failed to save any of Argentina’s penalties in the shootout and later reflected on the ‘painful’ end to his team’s World Cup defence.

‘It’s a painful time,’ the Tottenham shot-stopper said. ‘It’s true that we were bad in the first half, we made a lot of technical mistakes, we didn’t win the duels.

‘They deserved the lead but in the middle of the second half, we had a burst of pride and the talent of Kylian to come back to 2-2. It was like a boxing match, blow for blow. We fell short but can feel proud.’

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