UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin has criticized Lionel Messi and Emiliano Martinez for their behavior during and after the World Cup final against France. In the book “Messianico” by journalists Sebastián Fest (Argentina) and Alexandre Juillard (France), Ceferin expressed his disappointment with Messi’s passive behavior towards Martinez, who displayed disrespectful actions during the tournament.
Martinez, the Argentine goalkeeper, made an obscene gesture during the awards ceremony for the best goalkeeper of the World Cup, causing controversy, especially as the tournament was held in conservative Qatar. Additionally, during Argentina’s victory celebration, Martinez carried a baby doll with the face of Kylian Mbappe, the French player.
Ceferin was particularly annoyed by Martinez’s behavior during the penalty shootout in the final between Argentina and France. Martinez disrupted the concentration of the French shooters with questionable actions on the penalty spot and even received a yellow card for touching the ball. Ceferin criticized Messi in the book, saying, “He should have told the goalkeeper to stop showing no respect. After all, Messi plays with Mbappe all year round.”
Aleksander Ceferin Condemned Martinez
Ceferin also condemned Martinez, saying, “When I see how he behaved during the penalty shootout, I can’t understand why he fooled Mbappe with that doll and such nonsense. It’s unsporting, it’s primitive, and I didn’t like it. You’ve won the World Cup! Show some greatness, show that you’re not primitive. You can be a perfect goalkeeper, but if you’re not a good person…”
World Cup final
After the World Cup final, reactions from the football world poured in regarding Martinez’s behavior. His club, Aston Villa, wanted to have a discussion with him, while the Argentine national team coach did not blame the goalkeeper, and Mbappe likely saw the incident as “not his problem.” It’s probably a trick to sell more books from the UEFA president.