Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez has been labelled “the biggest son of a b**** in football” by former World Cup winner Adil Rami – and he hasn’t held back one bit.
The 30-year-old’s controversial antics – both during and after Sunday’s World Cup final at the Lusail Stadium – have divided opinion.
He used a series of mind games to unsettle France as they stepped up to take their spot kicks.
And during Argentina’s trophy parade, the Aston Villa goalkeeper trolled Kylian Mbappe by carrying a baby toy that had the Frenchman’s face on it. Oh, and he did this in the dressing room.
Hours after that open-top bus incident and Adil Rami, who lifted the World Cup with France in 2018, ripped into Martinez for his post-match antics.
In a story posted on his Instagram account, the former Lille, Sevilla and Valencia defender branded the goalkeeper as “the biggest son of a […] in football” and “the most hated man.”
Then, in another post, he claimed Morocco’s Yassine Bounou should have won the Golden Glove award instead.
And finally, Rami claimed Golden Boot winner Kylian Mbappe has “traumatised” his opponents to the point where they are celebrating beating him more than lifting the World Cup itself.
Many have agreed that Martinez has taken things too far, even during the game. Simon Jordan claimed he “cheated” during the penalty shoot-out on Sunday night.
“Martinez’s actions, I thought it was cheating, the holding of the ball and throwing it the other way,” Jordan told talkSPORT.
“The goalkeeper’s actions, I don’t think it was gamesmanship, I don’t think it’s part of the game, I think it’s cheating.
“For a referee to allow the goalkeeper to manipulate the circumstances, to heighten the pressure, to increase it, I think was one of the shortcomings in that moment in time.”
Chris Sutton also labelled Martinez’s decision to throw the ball away before Tchouameni took his penalty as “despicable”.
“I wasn’t overly enamoured with Martinez’s antics in the shootout,” he told The 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.
“But 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.”
Source: Bible Sport