Aston Villa and Argentina national team goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez was the villain in the eyes of the French. The veteran shot-stopper denied Randal Kolo Muani the potential game-winning goal in the 2022 FIFA World Cup final and afterward mocked Kylian Mbappé.
While attending the 2023 Ballon d’Or ceremony, Martínez was heckled with “Mbappé” chants while walking the red carpet and into the theater. Nonetheless, now that nearly a year has passed since the epic final, the Aston Villa man has expressed admiration for the Paris Saint-Germain winger.
“Kylian is an example to follow,” Martínez said. “He is phenomenal. Winning a World Cup, playing in the next final, and putting a hat-trick in a final. Every Frenchman should be proud to have a player like him.”
Emiliano Martínez: “Kylian is an example to follow. He is phenomenal. Winning a World Cup, playing in the next final, and putting a hat-trick in a final. Every Frenchman should be proud to have a player like him.” 🗣️🇦🇷🤝 pic.twitter.com/Ugm0O1KCHd
— PSG Report (@PSG_Report) November 1, 2023
Mbappé finished third in the Ballon d’Or this year due to not winning the 2022 World Cup, which he did everything in his power to secure the trophy. The 24-year-old scored a hat-trick e victory, but it was Argentina securing the victory in penalty kicks that made them champions.
Nonetheless, next summer, the PSG star will be able to beef up his candidacy for the Ballon d’Or. Aside from club football, the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner can win the 2024 UEFA Euro and a gold medal at the 2024 Summer Olympics.