French legend Patrick Vieira blasts Argentina's Martinez for taunting Mbappe and 'damaging the game'
Patrick Vieira has lashed out at Emiliano Martinez over the Argentina goalkeeper's 'stupid' decision to mock France and star player Kylian Mbappe after their win at the Qatar World Cup 2022 final last Sunday.
Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez has come under fire from legendary French footballer and Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira for his 'stupid' choice to make fun of France after their victory in the Qatar World Cup 2022 final last weekend.
On Sunday night at Doha's Lusail Stadium, Argentina defeated France, with Martinez emerging victorious in a thrilling penalty shootout that followed a thrilling 3-3 tie after regulation and extra time.
The Aston Villa No. 1 has been taking jabs at France and star player Kylian Mbappe over the past week in response to his nation's first World Cup victory since 1986.
Initially, Martinez made fun of the PSG forward, who on Sunday became the first player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final since England's Sir Geoff Hurst in 1966, by humorously calling for a moment of silence in his honour as Argentina celebrated in the locker room.
Adil Rami, the World Cup champion for France in 2018, called the Argentina goalkeeper the "most hated man in football," while the French national team also filed a formal protest over Martinez's actions.
After witnessing Martinez mock his nation this week, Vieira, who won the tournament with France in 1998, has now criticised the shot-stopper.
"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.
"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," the former Arsenal legend added.
Martinez, who led Argentina to a World Cup victory, is scheduled to rejoin club duties with Villa the following week. New boss Unai Emery has revealed he will talk with Martinez about his controversial celebrations, in which they will discuss 'controlling emotions'.
"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," he added.
"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," Emery concluded.