Argentinian goalkeeper mocks ‘baby’ Mbappe at World Cup parade
Emi Martinez goaded the French striker as his team continued their celebrations
World Cup winner Emiliano Martinez continued his brutal taunting of beaten rival Kylian Mbappe, with the Argentinian goalkeeper seen holding a doll with a picture of the French striker’s face on it at a victory parade on Tuesday.
Martinez cradled the doll and held it aloft as the Argentinian players made their way through the packed streets of Buenos Aires on an open-top bus.
The shirtless shot-stopper took his dig at Mbappe while standing next to the striker’s Paris Saint-Germain teammate Lionel Messi.
Emi Martinez holding a baby with a picture of Mbappe’s face over it pic.twitter.com/5rxbRv08Ia
— george (@StokeyyG2) December 20, 2022
Emiliano Martínez carried a baby toy with Mbappé’s face on it during the victory parade in Argentina today! pic.twitter.com/hd6FmiaPb2
— EuroFoot (@eurofootcom) December 20, 2022
Previously, Messi had been seen catching what appeared to be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle doll tossed at him by a fan. The Argentinian captain laughed before throwing it back.
Mbappe has been compared to characters from the popular cartoon series, something he and his teammates have made light of in the past.
Messi’s reaction after being thrown a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toy
(via magussf/TT) pic.twitter.com/tk43qZEA49
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 20, 2022
The dig with the baby doll is the second swipe that Martinez has taken at Mbappe in recent days.
After the World Cup final at Qatar’s Lusail Stadium, Martinez asked his teammates in the locker room to hold a mock “minute’s silence” for Mbappe.
The feud appears to stem from comments made ahead of the tournament in Qatar, when Mbappe suggested that European nations would be more prepared as they play more “high-level matches.”
Aston Villa goalie Martinez fired back by saying: “He never played in South America. When you don’t have this experience, it may be better not to talk about it. But it doesn’t matter. We are a great team, recognized as such.”
Some fans felt the taunting went too far, describing it as “shameless” from Martinez and noting that Mbappe had put four goals past him during the final – including his effort in the shootout.
Mbappe, meanwhile, marked his 24th birthday in more glum circumstances on Tuesday after France were unable to retain their World Cup title despite his hat-trick in the final.
The star scored a dramatic late brace to drag France back into the game at 2-2, before equalizing again from the penalty spot to make it 3-3 in extra time.
That made Mbappe only the second player ever to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final, and the first since 1966.
The forward scored his effort in the penalty shootout but France’s hopes were ended when Martinez saved from Kingsley Coman and Aurelien Tchouameni missed his effort following mind games from the Argentinian stopper.
Martinez, 30, had also made a sensational save in the dying moments of extra time when he denied Randal Kolo Muani with an outstretched left leg.
Martinez was awarded the Golden Glove for the tournament’s best goalkeeper, causing more controversy with he made a crude gesture with the trophy.
Emi Martínez after winning the Golden Glove ♂️ pic.twitter.com/N5WspWTibf
— B/R Football (@brfootball) December 18, 2022
He did earn praise, however, for going out of his way to console Golden Boot winner Mbappe on the pitch at the Lusail Stadium after the match.
Argentina’s victory parade saw millions take to the streets of Buenos Aires on Tuesday. The team were forced to abandon their bus route and instead were evacuated onto helicopters to fly over the city.