The Clown Prince of Qatar: Eccentric Argentina goalie Emiliano Martinez makes rude gesture with the Golden Glove award after celebrating penalty save with a David Brent-style dance
- Argentina beat France on penalties to win the World Cup on Sunday
- Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe starred in what was a thrilling 3-3 draw
- Emilano Martinez made a huge late save before another big one in the shootout
Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez shocked fans watching the World Cup final with a lewd gesture with the Golden Glove award after celebrating a penalty save with a David Brent style dance.
Argentina triumphed over France, winning on penalties after a dramatic 3-3 draw.
Martinez – who is shot-stopper at Premier League side Aston Villa – made a huge save in the final moments of extra-time to take the game to spot-kicks.
After the game he was presented with the Golden Glove, a trophy handed out to the goalkeeper with the most clean sheets.
And he proceeded to hold it in front of his groin and make a rude gesture as he made his way back to join his team-mates.
‘Emi Martinez is a very positive guy and told his team-mates he was going to save some penalties,’ revealed Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni.
BBC Sport’s pundits at the game were all in agreement too that Martinez’s antics played a huge part in the victory.
‘There is no doubt he had a massive impact mentally in the shootout,’ said former England midfielder Jermaine Jenas.
But the penalties hero originally started his career back in Arsenal back in 2012.
He made a number of fringe appearances but never really managed to break through, instead being loaned out to other clubs.
Back in 2019 Martinez was on loan at Championship strugglers Reading.
The club sent him a good luck message before yesterday’s final – half-joking his grit had been first shown on a cold night in the Midlands.
It said: ‘Yeah…you’ll play in front of more than 80,000 in the Lusail Stadium in Doha this afternoon, competing alongside your captain Lionel Messi – against the reigning world champions – for the honour of lifting the World Cup trophy with Argentina. But can you do it on a cold night in Stoke?
‘Yes you can. March 16. 2019, a memorable save from Sam Vokes, a goalless draw and a crucial point courtesy of a clean sheet earned by a certain Emi Martinez stood defiantly between the Reading posts.
‘We know we cannot truly lay claim to you. But today you become the first player to have represented Reading Football Club and to play in the World Cup Final. And…once a Royal, always a Royal.
‘From blue and white hoops to blue and white stripes… Good luck Emi.’
He moved from there to Premier League side Aston Villa in September 2020 in a £20million deal.
The Midlands club was ecstatic as their player sealed the World Cup final win.
In March 2021 he gave an interview to Sky about his decade signed to Arsenal but repeatedly sent out on loan.
He admitted: ‘I love everything about Arsenal.
‘I still love them and I’m still watching the games, but I just felt like they didn’t trust me like they should have.
‘When I was on a high, I still felt like they didn’t deserve me because of the way they were treating me. They couldn’t guarantee me the games I needed so I thought that if they couldn’t guarantee me the games I needed, then I’m moving on.’
Martínez has been married to childhood sweetheart Amanda ‘Mandinha’ since 2017.
It is understood they got married on the outskirts of London.
She is a professional interior designer and runs company MiSuenos Kids.
Martínez and his wife have two children together Santi, and Ava Martínez.