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Vieira blasts Argentina’s Martinez over ‘stupid’ World Cup celebrations

PATRICK Vieira has condemned Emiliano Martinez after what is perceived as the Argentina goalkeeper’s excessive celebrations of their Qatar 2022 World Cup success.

Martinez made a last-ditch save in extra-time of the final against France on Sunday and stopped a penalty as Argentina won the shootout 4-2 after a dramatic 3-3 draw in full-time.

The Aston Villa goalkeeper was slated for some of his actions, which included a rude gesture with the Golden Glove he was awarded as the tournament’s best goalkeeper.

He also repeatedly mocked France striker Kylian Mbappe, including during the parade of Argentina’s trophy in Buenos Aires.

Vieira, who won the 1998 World Cup with France and now manages Crystal Palace, felt Martinez was disrespectful.

“Some of the pictures I saw from the Argentinian goalkeeper, I think, take away a little bit what Argentina achieved at the World Cup,” Arsenal legend Vieira said.

“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.”

Aston Villa manager Unai Emery was also not happy about his player’s antics.

“When you have big emotion, sometimes it is difficult to control it,” the Spaniard said.

“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.

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