Emiliano Martinez, the goalie for Argentina, has apologized for making a crude gesture during the World Cup finals, but he has blamed his teammates.
Martinez was seen holding the trophy close to his crotch after receiving the “Golden Glove” for being the greatest goalie at the 2022 World Cup.
Martinez received criticism for the behavior, notably from his own Aston Villa manager.
Martinez helped Argentina defeat France in the shootout by stopping one of their penalties in the World Cup final, told TYC Sports: “I’m not proud of that, obviously, but it was a bet.
“Just when they were going to give me the Golden Glove, the boys [Argentina teammates] said, ‘why don’t you do the same as in the Copa America?’ and I would say, ‘What if I do?’ and they would reply ‘What if you don’t!’ It’s my teammates’ fault.”
Martinez had also made a comparable gesture following Argentina’s Copa America-winning 1-0 victory against bitter rival Brazil at the Maracana stadium in July 2021.
“I had done it at the Copa America because of what had happened,” he said, referencing the hostile atmosphere in Brazil.
Martinez, 30, accepted the award for The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper on Monday in a ceremony in Paris and made no offensive gestures.