Argentina hero explains X-rated act amid 'despicable' World Cup furore

Argentina Emiliano Martinez has at the centre of a couple of big controversies during and after the World Cup final against France. Pic: Twitter/Getty
Argentina Emiliano Martinez has at the centre of a couple of big controversies during and after the World Cup final against France. Pic: Twitter/Getty

Argentina keeper Emiliano Martinez has revealed the truth about an X-rated act he performed at the World Cup that left viewers in shock. The Argentinian keeper proved a hero for his side in the penalty shootout victory over France in the World Cup final.

Lionel Messi cemented his reputation as the greatest player of all time, scoring twice and converting a penalty in the 4-2 triumph in the shootout, following a drama-charged decider that ended 3-3 after extra time. Kylian Mbappe scored the first World Cup hat-trick in a men's final for 56 years but it wasn't enough to save France, in what has been called the best final in the competition's history.

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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, Martinez sparked uproar when he used the award to make a sexually inappropriate joke, by taking the trophy - which is in the shape of a hand - and pumping it in front of his crotch in a lewd act that left viewers stunned and organisers no doubt filthy. It's unclear if the goalkeeper will face any disciplinary measures after the incident sparked backlash around the world.

Argentina keeper Emiliano Martinez says his lewd act was directed at French fans who booed him during the World Cup final. Pic: Getty
Argentina keeper Emiliano Martinez says his lewd act was directed at French fans who booed him during the World Cup final. Pic: Getty

Speaking in the aftermath of the incident, Martinez explained that the gesture was directed at French supporters who had booed him during the game. The goalkeeper's actions during the shootout came under particular scrutiny, with Martinez accused of bad sportsmanship after kicking the ball away from his opponents and taunting them by dancing extravagantly when they missed from the spot.

“I did (the lewd act) it because the French booed me,” Martinez told Argentinian media after the game. “Pride does not work with me.”

Some of the boos directed towards the Argentina goalkeeper were certainly of his own making, particularly during the shootout when he was accused of a "despicable" piece of gamesmanship towards French penalty taker Tchouameni. The Argentina shot-stopper played mind games with the French players by holding on to the ball, but threw it away at one stage when Tchouameni stepped up to take his kick.

“I wasn’t overly enamoured with Martinez’s antics in the shootout,” former Premier League striker Chris Sutton told the Daily Mail. “I thought it was a pretty despicable thing to do [throwing the ball away]. I can understand the mind games and heat of the moment you do whatever it takes.

"I thought that was totally unnecessary. If you’re Tchouameni walking past Martinez [in the guard of honour] you probably feel like biffing him one. I didn’t like that at all but I can understand Martinez in that moment trying to win a World Cup.

“But he didn’t just chuck it a couple of yards away, he launched it 15, 20 yards away. I really felt for Tchouameni in that moment. That wasn’t on. It would have been interesting if Martinez had been booked for that because he got one on the next penalty.”

Lionel Messi leads Argentina to incredible World Cup title

France had come from two goals down to send the match to extra time, 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.

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 35-year-old's World Cup triumph saw him emulate fellow greats Maradona and Pele - a record three-time World Cup champion with Brazil - as a winner on the biggest stage in world football.

Lionel Messi of Argentina celebrates with the trophy following the FIFA World Cup Final against France.
Lionel Messi holds the World Cup trophy aloft after Argentina's thrilling win against France on penalties in the Qatar final. Pic: Getty (Chris Brunskill/Fantasista via Getty Images)

In Qatar, 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 FIFA World Cup 2022 was on SBS and SBS on Demand

with agencies

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