Martinez used every trick in the book to try to unsettle the France players during Sunday’s tense penalty shootout but Wright says the former Arsenal goalkeeper ‘crossed the line’.
Aston Villa’s Martinez threw the ball away from Aurelien Tchouameni before the Real Madrid midfielder fired wide of the post and received a yellow card for trying to approach France’s next penalty taker Randal Kolo Muani.
Martinez insisted he was ‘calm’ during the shootout but appeared to lose his cool after the match when he held his Golden Glove award in a lewd way towards the French fans.
The 30-year-old has demonstrated some of his controversial antics in domestic football for Arsenal and Aston Villa and Wright says he expected Martinez to ramp up the ‘s***housery’ in the penalty shootout.
However, the Arsenal legend – speaking on his Ringer FC podcast – admits he was disappointed by Martinez’s conduct and says he ‘crossed the line’.
‘I look at Emi Martinez, remember the s***housery with Auba [Martinez tried to put off Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang when he stepped up to take a penalty against Aston Villa in October 2021] and all that stuff he was doing at Arsenal,’ Wright said.
‘I was thinking this guy is going to go to another level of s***housery if this final goes to penalties. And he did.
‘I like Emi but what he did in the penalty shootout crossed the line, in respect of sportsmanship. He crossed the line.’
Martinez has also been criticised for his bizarre celebration following Argentina’s World Cup victory, which he claimed was in response to booing France fans.
‘Martinez’s antics are going to be remembered for a long time and that’s a sad thing,’ former France and Manchester United striker Louis Saha told Paddy Power.
‘He had a great tournament, and he didn’t need to do it. It was more about his adrenaline and some people do things without thinking and just instinctively do something they’ll regret.
‘I haven’t seen or heard any apology from him for his actions but it’s sad because the conversation takes away from the great World Cup he had.
‘It doesn’t help anything, and I don’t know what he was trying to say by doing it – it was really quite awkward.
‘It’s overshadowed what he’s accomplished, and people are going to be talking about that, rather than his performance.’
Argentina threatened to dominate the World Cup final against defending champions France after Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria scored first-half goals.
But Kylian Mbappe’s quickfire brace sent the match into extra-time, and penalties were required after both Mbappe and Messi were on target in extra time.
From there it was Argentina who held their nerve and they lifted the World Cup for the first time since 1986 and denied France back-to-back titles.
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