Patrick Vieira calls out ‘stupid’ Emiliano Martinez over Kylian Mbappe abuse during World Cup celebrations


    Emi Martinez
    Emiliano Martinez held a doll with Kylian Mbappe’s face next to Lionel Messi during Argentina’s World Cup parade

    Patrick Vieira says the abuse of Kylian Mbappe during Argentina’s 2022 World Cup celebrations has ‘damaged the game’.

    Argentina triumphed over France on penalties in last Sunday’s final in Qatar, with the South American nation revelling in their glory – a bit too much for some people.

    The antics of Argentina and Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez has come under a lot of scrutiny in particular, especially after he was seen with a toy baby with Mbappe’s face on during the open-top bus parade in Buenos Aires.

    The 30-year-old had previously mocked the France forward directly after the final, when he called for a minute’s silence for the PSG star while his team partied in the dressing room.

    While Martinez is known for his use of the ‘dark arts’ during matches, his behaviour since the final has been widely condemned, with a former World Cup winner labelling him as: ‘The biggest s*** in world football’.

    Vieira, who won the 1998 World Cup with France, says all this has tainted Argentina’s victory.

    ‘When you are talking about the abuse and the comments that he [Mbappe] received after the World Cup, I think that is damaging the game and himself,’ the Crystal Palace boss said in his pre-match press conference on Friday.

    Mbappe
    Kylian Mbappe missed out on winning back-to-back World Cups in Qatar (Credits: AP)

    ‘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.’

    Mbappe, who put a hat-trick and his shootout penalty past Martinez in the final, also received a torrid of horrific abuse from some fans in the stadium, as well as online.

    Nottingham Forest v Crystal Palace - Premier League
    Patrick Vieria won the 1998 World Cup with France (Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

    ‘I was really disappointed because I heard the same songs as you,’ Vieira added.

    ‘I want to have a picture of the Argentina fans with the passion and the love they showed during those games. Of course, they won the World Cup, but in the stands, they were the best as well.

    ‘I want to keep that in my mind and not think about those stupid fans who put some darkness on top of what Argentina achieved on and off the field. This is the dark side of the Argentina World Cup [win].’

    On Friday, Villa boss Unai Emery also said that he would have words with Martinez about his behaviour when he returned to the club.

    MORE : ‘Fans love him!’ – Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira on the transfer links to Manchester United outcast Aaron Wan-Bissaka

    MORE : ‘Even Wolves wouldn’t sign him’ – Paul Merson says Arsenal star Eddie Nketiah can’t replace Gabriel Jesus

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