Emiliano Martinez has claimed the Yashin Trophy at the 2023 Ballon d’Or after clinching the World Cup with Argentina in 2022.
But the goalkeeper was booed by France fans inside the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris as he walked onto the stage.
Didier Drogba, who led the awards ceremony had to stop fans from booing him, saying ‘please, please, respect’ in French, as a replay was shown of his epic save in the dying embers of the 2022 World Cup final.
Martinez was the star of the show, saving a last minute strike from France forward Randal Kolo Muani, after the forward went one-on-one with the shot-stopper.
He also saved two penalties in the resulting shootout, helping his side clinch a historic third World Cup title.
A replay of his save against Muani was shown on a big screen behind the stage and fans preceded to boo, with Drogba stepping in once again to say ‘please’.
Didier Drogba (L) was forced to intervene and prevent hecklers booing Emiliano Martinez
Martinez (L) claimed the Yashin Trophy after clinching the World Cup with Argentina in 2022
Chants of ‘Mbappe‘ were also heard from the crowd, after the goalkeeper had reportedly mocked Kylian Mbappe after the World Cup final.
Yet, it was Martinez who had the last laugh, receiving the Yashin Trophy in a heartwarming moment, as his dad appeared on stage to give his son the trophy.
‘I’m full of emotion to have won this,’ he said after picking up the award.
‘Without my teammates at Aston Villa and in the Argentina national team, this wouldn’t have been possible – this moment in my career.’
It’s not the first time he’s been shortlisted for an award, with Martinez having also been nominated in 2021, where Gianluigi Donnarumma was named the victor.
And he beat a star studded list of names including Ederson, Aaron Ramsdale, Andre Onana, Thibaut Courtois and Marc-Andre ter Stegen to win the award.
Martinez was also a stand-out for Aston Villa last season, amassing 13 clean sheets in 37 league appearances, helping the club qualify for the Europa Conference League.
Martinez was joined on stage by his father Alberto Martinez after receiving the award
Elsewhere on the night, Lionel Messi clinched his eighth Ballon d’Or title after pipping Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe to the award.
Before moving to Inter Miami in the summer, the 36-year-old masterminded Argentina’s victory in Qatar, scoring twice during the final, while also finding the back of the net during a penalty shoot-out, to help the team defeat 2018 winners France.
He also scored a whopping 32 goals in 55 games across all competitions for PSG, to help the side clinch the Ligue 1 title.
David Beckham, the co-owner of Inter Miami, presented him with the coveted award at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, to a standing ovation from members of the crowd.