Argentine goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez has defended his Golden Glove celebration, which caused controversy at the FIFA World Cup 2022 final in Qatar. Martinez was instrumental in Argentina’s victory over France, making a match-winning save in extra-time and two crucial saves in the penalty shootout.
When Martinez received the Golden Glove award, he held it to his ground area in celebration, a repeat of a similar celebration he made during the Copa America 2021 after receiving the best goalkeeper award. This gesture sparked controversy, with Martinez facing criticism and a possible punishment from FIFA, who have launched an investigation.
In an interview, Martinez explained the reasoning behind his celebration, stating that it was a joke with his teammates and that even Lionel Messi had advised him not to repeat the gesture. He emphasized that he didn’t intend to hurt anyone and greatly respects French culture and mentality.
“The gesture I made with the best goalkeeper trophy was a joke with my team-mates. They had asked me not to repeat it, and even Leo [Messi] told me that. I did it for them, nothing more. It lasted a second and that was it.” He added, “I don’t regret the celebrations, but there are things I wouldn’t do again in the same way. I’ve played with French people throughout my career and have never had a problem. You can ask Giroud what kind of person I am.”Emiliano Martinez