Argentina hero Emiliano ‘Dibu’ Martínez says he was getting back at the France supporters with his controversial gesture after collecting the Golden Glove trophy for the best goalkeeper at the 2022 World Cup.
“The French were booing me”
Having been handed the award following Argentina’s final win over France on Sunday, Martínez raised eyebrows worldwide by placing it phallus-style against his crotch, and adopting a bizarre facial expression. “I did it because the French were booing me,” the Aston Villa keeper later told the Argentinian radio station La Red. “I can’t be doing with arrogance.”
It is in fact not the first time that Martínez has celebrated receiving an accolade in this manner. As can be seen in the photo below, he also produced a very similar gesture after picking up the goalkeeper of the tournament award in the wake of Argentina’s 2021 Copa América win.
Hay cosas que nunca cambian 😅😂
A la izquierda: Dibu Martínez con el trofeo de Mejor Portero del Mundial
A la derecha: Dibu Martínez con el trofeo de Mejor Portero de la Copa América. pic.twitter.com/xVXI7ribR4
— f5futbol (@f5_futbol) December 18, 2022
Martínez key to Argentina World Cup win
Martínez, who has 26 international caps, became the first Argentinian to win the Golden Glove after playing a crucial role in the Albiceleste’s third World Cup triumph. Having already kept out two spot-kicks in the quarter-final shootout victory over the Netherlands, the 30-year-old saved from France’s Kingsley Coman on Sunday as Argentina won 4-2 on penalties at Lusail Stadium.
Earlier, Martínez had produced a game-saving 124th-minute stop to prevent Randal Kolo Muani from scoring an extra-time winner for Les Bleus.
Widely being described as the greatest in World Cup history, the final ended in a 3-3 draw. First-half goals by Lionel Messi and Ángel di María placed Argentina in charge, before Kylian Mbappé forced extra time with a quickfire late double, scoring twice in as many minutes. Messi then restored the South Americans’ advantage in the 108th minute, only for Mbappé to complete his hat-trick – the first World Cup final treble since 1966 – with two minutes of the additional half hour left.
Martínez denies Kolo Muani a last-gasp winner.MOLLY DARLINGTONREUTERS
“I felt relaxed”
“I felt relaxed during the shootout,” Martínez said post-match. “They managed three shots [during the game] and scored three goals, but after that I think I did everything really well.”