The 30-year-old was a key part of Argentina’s World Cup success as he picked up the golden glove and starred in two penalty shoot-outs during the tournament in Qatar, but has been criticised for his antics in the final and in the celebrations following the triumph.

Martinez reportedly made the purchase from Elite Protection Dogs with a view to protect his family in the West Midlands as well as his World Cup winner’s medal. Several stars have looked to boost their security in recent years, with dozens of top-flight footballers having had their homes targeted by thieves.

Martinez has bought a Belgian Malinois guard dog, which have been used by the SAS and US Navy Seals in combat zones, according to the Daily Star. The guard dog reportedly costs a minimum of £20,000 and weigh up to 30kgs.

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta and French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris are among stars from football to have bought guard dogs from the company in the past. Former England stars Ashley Cole and Jack Wilshere, and heavyweight boxing world champion Tyson Fury, have also used the company.

Martinez returned to Aston Villa training last week after lifting the World Cup with Argentina in Qatar. His celebrations back in Buenos Aires sparked controversy as he goaded France’s Mbappe by holding a baby doll with the star’s face on it during Argentina’s parade.

Martinez also made an obscene gesture after being awarded the Golden Glove for the tournament’s best keeper, which led to further criticisms of his actions. Martinez antics following Argentina’s World Cup triumph have received criticism. Martinez returned to the Aston Villa squad for their 2-0 Premier League win over Tottenham yesterday but was left on the bench by Emery. 

His club boss, Unai Emery, was asked about his goalkeeper’s antics out in Qatar and confirmed he would ask Martinez to ‘control his emotions’ from now on. Reports from Spain claim that Emery is keen to sell Martinez in January having been unimpressed by his post-World Cup antics. 

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