Mbappe responds to Argentinian World Cup mockery
French striker Kylian Mbappe has insisted he is unconcerned by Argentina’s World Cup celebrations after goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez mocked him during a victory parade in Buenos Aires.
Martinez was seen holding up a baby doll with Mbappe’s face on it during the Argentinian team’s open-top bus tour of the nation’s capital last week.
The goalkeeper was also heard asking for a “minute’s silence” for Mbappe in the locker room of Qatar’s Lusail Stadium after the South Americans earned their shootout victory against France in the World Cup final.
Returning to action for club team Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday – when he struck an injury-time winner from the penalty spot – Mbappe said he was not bothered by Martinez or the jokes at this expense.
“The celebrations are not my problem,” Mbappe said, as reported by RMC Sport.
“I don’t waste energy on such futile things, the important thing for me is to give my best for my club.
“We will wait for Leo (Messi) to come back to continue scoring and winning games,” added the French star.
PSG teammate Lionel Messi has been granted extra time off by the club after leading Argentina to their first World Cup success in 36 years, but is expected back in Paris at the start of January.
“I spoke with (Messi) after the (final), I congratulated him,” Mbappe said.
“It was the quest of a lifetime for him, for me too, but I failed. You always have to remain a good sportsman.”
Mbappe and Messi were two of the key protagonists in the final in Qatar on December 18.
Messi scored twice while Mbappe hit a hat-trick in an all-time classic which ended 3-3 after extra time.
Both men were on target in the shootout, but French pair Kingsley Coman and Aurelien Tchouameni missed their efforts – with the former’s penalty being saved by Martinez.
The defeat deprived France and Mbappe, 24, of defending the title they won in Russia in 2018.
“Personally, I will never get over it,” said Mbappe. “But my club isn’t responsible for this failure, I’ve tried to come back with the most positive energy possible.”
Mbappe left the Qatar World Cup with the Golden Boot as top scorer with eight goals.
Messi was bestowed with the Golden Ball for the best player of the tournament, while Martinez was awarded the Golden Gloves for best goalkeeper.
While Mbappe has said he is unconcerned, Martinez’ post-World Cup celebrations have irked some figures in France.
French Football Federation (FFF) president Noel Le Graet said he wrote a letter of complaint to his counterparts at the Argentinian Football Association (AFA) to express his dissatisfaction.