Emiliano Martínez, the hero of the 2022 Fifa World Cup final, shocked thousands of fans present at the stadium after he made a lewd gesture after receiving the Golden Glove award for his stunning performance in the tournament. After receiving the award, Martinez celebrated by putting the trophy — which is shaped like a hand — to his crotch and pumping.
Argentina defeated France, prevailing on penalties following a thrilling 3-3 tie. Martinez made a crucial save in the waning seconds of extra time to force a shootout and ultimately decide the outcome of the match, helping Argentina win the World Cup after 36 years.
Vulgar or Not Vulgar?
Martinez received the Golden Glove, a prize given to the goalkeeper with the maximum number of clean sheets. The 30-year-old shook hands with Gianni Infantino and other Fifa officials before putting the gold trophy in front of his privates and pulling an odd face.
Then, when he walked back to his teammates, he made a crude gesture while holding it in front of his groin.
After the gesture, one broadcaster was heard muttering, "Oh no," on the Fox coverage. On BBC, someone said, "No, don't do that, Emi. Don't do that."
It is unclear if Martinez would face any disciplinary action, although it would be surprising to see anything coming from Argentine football authorities, given that the team recently won its first World Cup in 36 years thanks in large part to the goalkeeper.
Everyone involved will most likely hope that this is simply forgotten.
Martinez, 30, played the role of the hero for Argentina in their 2022 World Cup victory against France with a fantastic kick save in the waning seconds of extra time and a penalty save on Kingsley Coman to help secure the victory. He shed tears of delight afterward, but by the time the ceremony rolled around, he seemed to have calmed down enough to laugh.
Is Anyone Offended?
Although supporters don't seem to have taken this seriously, reports claim that the vulgar gesture didn't go down well with Qatari authorities. However, it is not known if the gesture was intentional or not. And if it was done purposefully, was it intended to offend someone in particular.
"Emi Martinez is a very positive guy and told his team-mates he was going to save some penalties," revealed Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni.
However, many didn't like the gesture.
Fernanda Familiar, a journalist and TV host from Mexico, wrote on Twitter that Martinez should be stripped off the honor. "What a way to take meaning away from the golden glove," she posted,
"Your vulgarity threatens the World Cup. YOU ARE UNWORTHY! FIFA must withdraw this recognition."
Fans worldwide were also shocked One Tweeted: "Never had Martinez using the Golden Glove trophy as a sex toy on my World Cup final bingo card."
A second commented: "What on Earth was he thinking?"
Slamming his gesture, another Twitter user wrote: "Emi Martinez is proof that men never grow up."
The BBC Sport analysts present at the game concurred that Martinez's antics were a major factor in the victory.
"There is no doubt he had a massive impact mentally in the shootout," said former England midfielder Jermaine Jenas.
However, given the importance of the championship game, Qatar will very definitely rely on that tactic for a variety of other World Cup topics.