Patrick Vieira has hit out at Emiliano Martinez over the Argentina goalkeeper’s ‘stupid’ decision to mock France after their win in last weekend’s World Cup final. Argentina got the better of France in Qatar on Sunday night, with Martinez proving the hero in a dramatic penalty shootout following a pulsating 3-3 draw after normal and extra-time.
He first mocked the PSG forward, who became the first player to score a hat-trick in the World Cup final since England’s Sir Geoff Hurst in 1966 on Sunday, by jokingly calling for a minute’s silence for him while Argentina partied in the dressing room after the victory.
Over the past week, the Aston Villa No 1 has followed up his country’s first World Cup triumph since 1986 by taking a series of digs at France, and in particular star player Kylian Mbappe.
Now Vieira, who won the tournament with France in 1998, has condemned Martinez after watching the shot-stopper taunt his country this week. ‘When you are talking about the abuse and the comments that he received after the World Cup, I think that is damaging the game and himself,’ the Crystal Palace head coach said on Friday.
And during their victory parade back in Buenos Aires, Martinez was even seen waving a doll with Mbappe’s face on it while on their open-top bus. France 2018 World Cup winner Adil Rami has branded him the ‘most hated man in football’, while Les Bleus have also lodged an official complaint over his antics.
Martinez is due to return to club duty with Villa next week after his World Cup-winning heroics for Argentina. New boss Unai Emery has revealed he will hold talks with the goalkeeper about his controversial celebrations, in which they will discuss ‘controlling emotions’.
‘Some of the pictures that I saw from the Argentina goalkeeper took away a little bit from what Argentina achieved at the World Cup. I don’t think that they really needed that. ‘You can’t control sometimes people’s emotions or decisions, but that was a stupid decision from Martinez to do that.’
‘I want to speak with him when he will come here next week but I am thinking more about his performance and his win, than his celebration,’ Emery said. ‘The celebration is for the supporters, with really big emotions. It’s not really a good moment as a coach to identify why.
‘I prefer to be focused on how he performed and how he is going to win with us afterwards. I am going to speak with him because I want to control him about that as well his emotions.
‘We have to have values, we have to focus on behaviour when we are together and with the opposition players. ‘We can speak in 90 per cent of the cases about very good things, and be very proud of him, for his performance, for his win. It is about more than small details like celebrations.’