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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Kieran King

Emiliano Martinez slammed 'most hated Argentine' after controversial World Cup antics

The French press has named Emiliano Martinez as the 'most hated Argentine' after his behaviour in the World Cup final as La Albiceleste overcame France on penalties.

Martinez was the star of the show for Argentina in the shootout as he saved one penalty to help his nation win the accolade for the third time in their history. The Aston Villa goalkeeper also made a crucial stop to deny Randal Kolo Muani, whose 123rd-minute effort was flying towards the corner of the net.

After winning the Golden Glove award, Martinez decided to celebrate by making a rude gesture with the gong as he held it over his private parts. The 30-year-old has since explained he made the gesture because French fans were booing him following Argentina's thrilling victory over Les Bleus.

The former Arsenal keeper was one of the first players to console Kylian Mbappe after the final whistle as the Paris Saint-Germain star looked distraught after his side's defeat. However, after being booed, Martinez decided to mock Mbappe in the dressing room by calling for a minutes' silence for the France forward.

Martinez continued to taunt Mbappe as he held a baby doll with his face on during Argentina's World Cup trophy celebrations back in Buenos Aires. To add salt to the wound, Martinez held the Mbappe doll while standing next to Lionel Messi as the duo celebrated Argentina's success at the tournament.

Subsequently, the French media have emphasised their dislike of Martinez, with French outlet TF1 labelling him 'the most hated Argentine', while his crude gesture after picking up his Golden Glove award was labelled as disrespectful and 'indecent'. French congressman Karl Olive has also suggested that Martinez should be stripped of the award for the incidents and how he celebrated winning the accolade.

Martinez celebrated with a lewd gesture after landing the coveted Golden Glove award (Jose Breton/NurPhoto)

TF1 concluded by naming Martinez: 'An agitator who has become his own caricature.' Meanwhile, L'Equipe labelled the goalkeeper as a 'specialist in provocation' and a 'born provocateur'.

Former France defender Adil Rami also admitted that Martinez is the most hated man in football and claimed that Argentina have taken more pleasure from beating Mbappe than winning the World Cup. In his Instagram stories, he posted a picture of Martinez along, which as per Get France Football is captioned: "The biggest son of a (b****) in football. The most hated man."

Troyes defender Rami went on to admit that he felt Morocco's Yasine Bounou should have won the Golden Glove award. The Sevilla man conceded three fewer goals at the tournament and kept as many clean sheets in the process, despite playing a game less.

Martinez has been known for his antics over the years and also came under fire for how he acted after Argentina's win over the Netherlands in the quarter-finals. The shot-stopper celebrated wildly and seemed to taunt the Dutch players before, during and after the shootout success.

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