Soccer  

Kylian Mbappe shrugs off Emiliano Martinez’s ‘futile’ taunts

Kylian Mbappe and Emi Martinez
Mbappe scored three penalties – one in normal time, one in extra time and one in the shoot-out – against Martinez in the World Cup final

France striker Kylian Mbappe has said he won’t “waste energy on such futile things” when asked about Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez’s taunts after the World Cup final.

Martinez called for a minute’s silence for Mbappe during his team’s dressing-room celebrations in Qatar and posed with a doll depicting the player.

“Celebrations are not my problem,” Mbappe told RMC Sport.external-link

“I don’t waste energy on such futile things.”

Martinez, who also made a rude gesture with the trophy for the tournament’s best goalkeeper in the wake of Argentina’s shoot-out win on 18 December, is reportedly due back to training with Aston Villa on Thursdayexternal-link where manager Unai Emery has said he will speak to him about his celebrations.

Mbappe, who scored a hat-trick in the final, emphasised that the result would not cause any issues between him and Paris St Germain team-mate Lionel Messi.

“I spoke with him after the match, I congratulated him,” Mbappe continued.

Emiliano Martinez
Martinez’s celebrations have drawn criticism

“It was the quest of a lifetime for him, for me too, but I failed, so you always have to be a good sportsman.”

Martinez’s antics, which also included also included various attempts to unsettle Les Bleus’ penalty-takers during the shoot-out, have caused consternation in France.

Former France defender Adil Rami called Martinez “the most hated man”, while congressman Karl Olive said Fifa should congressman Karl Olive said Fifa should rescind his best goalkeeper award.external-link

Mbappe scored a late winner against Strasbourg on Wednesday evening as PSG moved eight points clear at the top of Ligue 1.

The striker, 24, won the World Cup’s Golden Boot with eight goals and is currently top of the French top-flight scoring charts with 13 goals.

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