African Music

Argentine Celebrations A ‘Stupid Decision’ Says Patrick Vieira

Emiliano Martinez celebrates after saving a penalty in the World Cup final

Emiliano Martinez’s celebrations were “stupid” and dampened Argentina’s World Cup victory, says Patrick Vieira who won the title with France in 1998.

Martinez shone in the penalty shootout win over France in the final, but was panned for some of his actions, which included a rude gesture with the Golden Glove he was awarded as best keeper.

He also repeatedly mocked France striker Kylian Mbappe.

Villa manager Unai Emery plans to speak to Martinez about his celebrations.

Vieira, who now manages Crystal Palace, said: “Some of the pictures I saw from the Argentinian goalkeeper, I think, take away a little bit what Argentina achieved at the World Cup.

“I don’t think they really needed that.

“You can’t control sometimes people’s emotional decisions. But that was a stupid decision, I think, from Martinez to do that.”

Argentina beat France 4-2 on penalties in Qatar after a dramatic final had ended 3-3.

In the dressing room after the game, Martinez called for a minute’s silence for Mbappe, who had scored a hat-trick for France. He then engaged in further mockery during Argentina’s victory parade in Buenos Aires, by holding up a doll depicting the striker.

Villa boss Emery added: “When you have big emotion, sometimes it is difficult to control it.

“I will speak to him next week about some celebrations but I respect that he is now under the national team and when he will be with us, he is our responsibility then we can speak about it.

“We are so proud of him. He won the World Cup with his national team and it’s amazing.”

On Thursday, Noel Le Graet, the president of the French football federation, told French news outlet Ouest-France he had written to his Argentine counterpart about the team’s “abnormal” celebrations.

Martinez’s antics during the penalty shootout made headlines after the final, with his mind games unsettling the France players – as the goalkeeper saved from Kingsley Coman, and Aurelien Tchouameni missed.

He has yet to return to Villa and will not be available for his side’s game against Liverpool on 26 December when the Premier League resumes after the World Cup break.

“He’s coming back next week,” Emery added.

“I want him to rest now because after big emotion and hard work, he has to have some days off to rest then he’ll come back to work with us.”

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