- Argentine keeper starred at 2022 World Cup
- Helped his country to global glory in Qatar
- Poked fun at France forward afterwards
WHAT HAPPENED? The pair have not always seen eye-to-eye, with Martinez poking fun at Mbappe on a regular basis in the wake of Argentina’s penalty shootout success in the 2022 World Cup final. The South American shot-stopper asked for a minute’s silence for Mbappe in the dressing room after the game in Qatar – despite the Paris Saint-Germain forward netting a hat-trick – and also took to holding a doll with Mbappe’s face on it during an open-top bus parade in Buenos Aires. Unsurprisingly, the France international was not in the mood to toast Martinez’s success when he was named the best keeper on the planet at a glitzy awards show in Paris on Monday.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Martinez has attempted to play down his supposed taunting of Mbappe, saying of his actions in the aftermath of an emotional World Cup win and the doll that caused such a stir: “I held it for like two minutes and I threw it away, that’s all. 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. I told him he should be proud of himself and keep his head high, because he played a fantastic game and that he was one of the best players in the world.”
WHAT NEXT? Mbappe has also distanced himself from any kind of feud when saying “I don't have the energy to waste on such futile things”, but his reaction to Martinez winning a top prize from FIFA suggests that he is not ready to forgive and forget just yet.