Argentina's goalkeeping hero Emiliano Martinez has been busted performing an 'X-rated' act after his side's incredible triumph over France in the final of the World Cup. Lionel Messi cemented his reputation as the greatest player of all time, scoring twice and converting a penalty in the shootout after arguably the best final in the competition's history ended in a 3-3 draw after extra time in Qatar.
Kylian Mbappe scored the first World Cup hat-trick in a men's final for 56 years to almost singlehandedly drag his team back into the contest after they went down 2-0 in regular time and then 3-2 in extra time. Both he and Messi scored in the shootout too but Argentina prevailed 4-2 to lift the World Cup for the third time, with Gonzalo Montiel netting the clinching penalty to spark scenes of wild celebration inside Lusail Stadium and back in South America.
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Argentina keeper Martinez proved their hero again, saving Kingsley Coman's penalty before Aurelien Tchouameni fired wide to give Argentina their third World Cup trophy and first since 1986, when Diego Maradona led the side to glory. Martinez won the Golden Glove award - given to the best goalkeeper of the tournament - in a fitting recognition for his incredible displays in Qatar.
However, FIFA and tournament organisers would have been less than impressed with the Aston Villa shot-stopper during the presentation ceremony when he used the trophy to make an inappropriate gesture. Taking the trophy - which is in the shape of a hand - Martinez held it in front of his crotch and started jokingly pumping it in an act Qatar chiefs would no doubt have frowned upon.
A broadcaster on Fox Sports' North American coverage responded to Martinez's explicit act by saying: “Oh no,” while another commentator on the BBC coverage added: “No, don’t do that, Emi. Don’t do that.”
— Peter Gillibrand (@GillibrandPeter) December 18, 2022
Martinez was not the only one spotted in an X-rated situation after Argentina's win, with one female fan seen stripped down and waving her shirt in the air after the team's win. Eagle-eyed fans spotted the topless woman swirling her Argentina jersey triumphantly in the air as fellow fans celebrated wildly beside her in the stands.
— jaestarr007 (@jaestarr007) December 18, 2022
The celebrations will no doubt be long and eventful for the Argentinians, who witnessed Messi add another chapter to his extraordinary legacy, by claiming the only major trophy he had not previously won in an extraordinary career.
"It's anyone's childhood dream," Messi said after hoisting the trophy. "It's madness ... look how she (the World Cup) is, she's gorgeous. I wanted her so much. I had a vision that this would be the one ... she was getting closer."
Mbappe and Messi star in final for the ages
France had come from two goals down to level, with Mbappe netting twice in two minutes - first with an 80th-minute penalty and then a dazzling volley. The France striker completed his hat-trick in the 118th minute with another spot-kick after Messi had bundled in what had looked likely to be the winner shortly before.
Argentina had dominated for long periods of the game, going 2-0 up in the first half with Messi - making a record-breaking 26th World Cup appearance - converting a 23rd-minute penalty. They struck again with a sublime four-pass counter-attack, Alexis Mac Allister's cutback finding Angel Di Maria, who finished well.
In a final of extraordinary twists and turns, Mbappe became only the second man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final following Geoff Hurst's treble for England in their 1966 victory over West Germany.
"We came back from the brink, that's what gives us so many regrets," France coach Didier Deschamps said.
But it was Messi's day as the Argentina captain, considered by many to be the greatest footballer of all-time, was at last able to lift the one trophy that had eluded him. The diminutive No.10 is now definitively in the pantheon of soccer's greatest-ever players, alongside Pele - a record three-time World Cup champion with Brazil - and Diego Maradona, the late Argentina great with whom Messi has so often been compared.
Here, Messi achieved what Maradona did in 1986, dominating a World Cup for Argentina - even though, at 35, he was 10 years older than 'El Diego' was when shooting them to the title in Mexico.
"I wanted to close my career with this, I can no longer ask for anything else," Messi said, before dispelling speculation that this could be his international swan song. "I love football and I want to continue living a few more games being world champion."
The torch will one day pass to Mbappe, whose late goals transformed the match and earned him the Golden Boot as the tournament's top scorer - but not yet. As he waited to pick up the World Cup, Messi rubbed his hands in glee before collecting the trophy and joining his adoring teammates, for whom he has become even more of icon over the past month.
For as he lifted the biggest trophy in sport to the heavens, this was always going to be remembered as Messi's World Cup.
The FIFA World Cup 2022 is on SBS and SBS on Demand
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