‘That was a stupid decision’ – Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira slams Emiliano Martinez’s mocking of Kylian Mbappe and insists Argentina star’s antics diminished World Cup heroics

    Patrick Vieira says that Emiliano Martinez’s mockery of Kylian Mbappe diminished Argentina’s World Cup heroics.

    The Aston Villa goalkeeper was one of his nation’s star men as he helped Argentina to a penalty shootout victory over France last week to earn football’s biggest prize in Qatar.

    Martinez produced a rude gesture when picking up the best goalkeeper award at the World Cup in Qatar

    getty

    Martinez produced a rude gesture when picking up the best goalkeeper award at the World Cup in Qatar

    The goalkeeper was also a disruptive influence during the penalty shootout, leading to him being booked

    Getty

    The goalkeeper was also a disruptive influence during the penalty shootout, leading to him being booked

    The South Americans have been celebrating their achievements this week with Martinez stealing the headlines for his boisterous antics on the road.

    As well as calling for a ‘minute’s silence for Mbappe’ in the changing room on Sunday, he was then seen holding a baby doll with Kylian Mbappe’s face on it during an open top bus parade, leading to a formal complaint from the French FA.

    France legend and Crystal Palace boss Vieira believes that his antics were unnecessary.

    Speaking to the media, Vieira said: “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.

    “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.”

    Martinez held a baby doll with Mbappe’s face on it during Argentina’s victory parade

    Twitter

    Martinez held a baby doll with Mbappe’s face on it during Argentina’s victory parade

    Martinez’s boss at Aston Villa, Unai Emery, also said that he planned to speak to the goalkeeper about his celebrations, but insisted that his performances should be the main take away from Qatar.

    He said: “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.

    “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.”

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