May 26, 2024

At the Ballon d’Or ceremony in Paris, Emiliano Martinez was jeered as the Argentina custodian accepted his prize.

Martinez’s actions following Argentina’s victory over France in the World Cup final have made him unpopular in Paris.

As Emiliano Martinez accepted the Yashin Trophy for best custodian on Monday night at the Ballon d’Or ceremony in Paris, he was jeered.

Martinez stopped France in the final of the 2022 World Cup. He made two more saves in the shootout to help Argentina win their first World Cup since 1986. Martinez also made a critical one-on-one save from Randal Kolo Muani in extra time to force penalties.

 

Emiliano Martínez - Player Profile - Football - Eurosport

 

When the Aston Villa goalkeeper was seen holding a doll of France captain Kylian Mbappe during the trophy parade in Buenos Aires, fans criticised him for his raucous celebrations following the match.

Martinez heard “Mbappe!” chants outside the venue as he arrived at the Ballon d’Or ceremony. Later, as he was being interviewed by host Didier Drogba following his on-stage acceptance of his father’s award, there were jeers in the background as a video of his well-known save against Kolo Muani played.

Lionel Messi, Martinez’s teammate, defeated Erling Haaland of Manchester City, the winner of three consecutive titles as Uefa player of the year, to win a record eighth Ballon d’Or for the best player in the world. After winning the final three Ballons d’Or from rival Cristiano Ronaldo in 2017, the 36-year-old now leads Ronaldo by three titles. With five second-place finishes, Messi has now finished in the top three a record 14 times overall.

“I never would have imagined pursuing a career like mine. All that I have accomplished. The luck I’ve had to play for the greatest team in history and the greatest team in the world. Winning these unique trophies is a pleasant feeling. It’s incredible to have won both the Copa America and the World Cup, Messi remarked.

“They’re all special for different reasons, the Ballon d’Or awards,” he continued. “I’m grateful for the acknowledgement I’m receiving as a result of the accomplishments made by the national team,” Messi said to Reuters. “It’s even more special because we had been working towards this World Cup title for so long.”

When asked whether he would play until the World Cup in 2026, Messi replied, “I don’t think about it.” Day by day, I’ll enjoy (my career). In the United States, the Copa America will take place initially in 2024. (The World Cup) is not something I consider.

Women’s Ballon d’Or winner Aitana Bonmati of Barcelona, winner of the World Cup, represented Spain. She stated, “It’s an individual trophy, but it can’t exist without a team.”

Messi, who placed second to Haaland at the Uefa Awards in August, won his first Ballon d’Or in 2009 and went on to win four consecutively until 2012.

After leading City to the Champions League, Premier League, and FA Cup last season with 52 goals in 53 games across all competitions, Haaland, 23, was one of the heavy favourites to win his first Ballon d’Or. Messi, though, beat out the Norwegian striker for the award thanks to Argentina’s incredible run at the World Cup in Qatar, where he won the Silver Boot (seven goals and three assists) and the Golden Ball for best overall player.

The World Cup was the only significant trophy that Messi’s resume lacked as Argentina made up for losing to Germany in the 2014 final, and in March he became just the third player in history to reach 100 goals for his country. Prior to joining Inter Miami and helping the Major League Soccer team win the Leagues Cup, their first major trophy, Messi also won the Ligue 1 championship with Paris St. Germain.

Jude Bellingham, a midfielder for Real Madrid and England, won the Kopa Trophy as the best Under-21 player, and his teammate Vinicius Jr. received the Socrates Award for his charitable work off the pitch.

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