Patrick Vieira says Emiliano Martinez’s taunting of Kylian Mbappe diminished Argentina’s World Cup heroics.
The Aston Villa goalkeeper was one of the star men for his country as he helped Argentina beat France on penalties last week to win football’s biggest prize in Qatar.
Martínez made a rude gesture when collecting the award for the best goalkeeper at the World Cup in Qatar
The goalkeeper also had a disruptive influence during the penalty shootout, which led to him being booked
The South Americans have celebrated their successes this week with Martinez stealing the headlines for his boisterous antics on the road.
As well as calling for a ‘minute of silence for Mbappe’ in the dressing room on Sunday, he was later seen holding a doll with Kylian Mbappe’s face on during an open-top bus parade, prompting a formal complaint from the French FA .
French legend and Crystal Palace boss Vieira believes his antics were unnecessary.
Speaking to the media, Vieira said: “When you talk about the abuse and the comments he got after the World Cup, I think it’s hurting the game and himself.
“Some of the images I saw of the Argentine goalkeeper took away from me a little of what Argentina achieved in the World Cup.
“I don’t think they really need to. Sometimes you can’t control people’s emotions or decisions, but that was a stupid decision by Martinez to do that.”
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Martinez’s boss at Aston Villa, Unai Emery, also said he planned to speak to the goalkeeper about his celebrations, but insisted his performances should be the main feature in Qatar.
He said: “I want to speak to him when he comes here next week, but I’m thinking more about his performance and his win than his celebration.
“I prefer to focus on how he performed and how he will win with us later. I will talk to him because I want to control him about this too: his emotions.
“We must have values, we must focus on behavior when we are together and with rivals.
“In 90 percent of the cases we can talk about very good things, and be very proud of him, for his performance, for his victory. It’s about more than little details like celebrations.”
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Source: ‘That was a stupid decision’