Argentina shot-stopper Emi Martinez has revealed that he told Kylian Mbappe to be “proud” despite being on the end of a World Cup defeat.
The Aston Villa keeper was key to his nation winning the World Cup in Qatar after saving penalties from Kingsley Coman and Tchouameni after a 3-3 draw after extra time.
And that was after Mbappe scored a hat-trick and Martinez appeared to be stoking the fires of a rivalry with the aforementioned Frenchman.
He called for a minute’s silence for the forward in the dressing room in Qatar and was then seen with a doll depicting the PSG star during the celebrations in Buenos Aires.
Despite that, Martinez appeared to have consoled the player immediately after his nation’s World Cup triumph as Mbappe sat disappointed on the pitch.
He shared some words with the 24-year-old and has now revealed what he said. Speaking to TyC Sports, he said: “I told him to get up and to look forward.
“He shouldn’t be on the floor, but proud of the game he had played, which is the truth. He scored four goals on me. The one who should be on the floor is me.”
It is not the first time Martinez has clarified his actions after the World Cup in Qatar. He also attempted to justify the images of him carrying the doll and rejected claims that he was mocking Mbappe.
“I held it [baby doll] for like two minutes and I threw it away, that’s all,” the Aston Villa stopper said.
“How can I make fun of Mbappe? He scored four past me. Four goals in a final! He must think I am his toy baby! I have huge respect for Mbappe.”
Whilst Martinez has attempted to smooth things over with Mbappe after Argentina’s World Cup success, it appears that he remains unconvinced having criticised the goalkeeper’s “futile” celebrations upon his return to PSG.
“The celebrations, they’re not my problem,” he said. “I don’t waste any energy on such futile things. What’s important for me is to give the best of myself for my club, and we’re looking forward for Leo [Messi] to return to continue scoring and winning matches.”