Aston Villa manager Unai Emery has said he will ‘talk’ to goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez about ‘some of his celebrations’ on his return from the World Cup.
The goalkeeper received praise for his performances in Qatar but was criticized for some of his on-field antics and post-game celebrations.
Martinez is yet to return to his club but when he does it will be as world champions after helping Argentina to victory over France in the final.
The 30-year-old was the outstanding goalkeeper at the World Cup in Qatar and played a major role in Argentina’s historic victory, making a number of crucial saves throughout the tournament, as well as in extra time against France and a winning match. penalty shootout.
His performances won him the Golden Glove award for the tournament’s best goalkeeper, but – although there was some debate over whether his sense of the game crossed the line or not – he immediately let down by some of his behavior after the final whistle.
Martinez first caused a scandal by making a phallic gesture with his golden glove after being presented with the trophy on the stage set up in the middle of the lawn at Lusail Stadium in Doha.
A video then emerged of Martinez mocking Kylian Mbappe back in the dressing room leading a moment of silence for the French superstar, who scored a hat-trick past him in the final.
The mockery then continued at Argentina’s open-top bus celebration in Buenos Aires, with Martinez spotted holding a doll with Mbappe’s face on it – with the French FA later filing a formal complaint over his taunts.
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Some claim Martinez has gone too far in his celebrations, and while Emery says everyone linked to Aston Villa is ‘proud’ of their No.1, the boss admits he will sit him down when he returns to discuss their actions.
“We are so proud of him,” Emery said ahead of Villa’s return to the Premier League at home to Liverpool on Boxing Day.
“He won the World Cup with his national team and that’s amazing, I think all the Aston Villa fans must be very proud of him.
“He’s coming back next week but I want him to rest now because after a lot of emotion and the hard work he’s done I think he needs to have a few days off and rest and then the week next he will come back to start with us.
“Of course, when you have a big emotion, it is sometimes difficult to control it.
“I will speak with him next week about some of the celebrations, but I respect because he is now part of his national team.
“When he’s going to come back with us and it’s our responsibility [again]then we can talk about it.
Martinez’s Qatar presentations will surely have plenty of clubs lined up who will try to land him away from Villa Park during the January transfer window.
But Villa have an advantage in that the goalkeeper only signed a new contract with the club at the start of the year, and Emery says he enjoys working with the 30-year-old, whom he has also coached during his career at Arsenal.
“For us, Emiliano after winning the World Cup, it’s amazing to be with him and see him defend this club,” added the Spanish manager.
“For me as a manager, I knew him at Arsenal before, I’ve worked with him before and I’m so happy to be here to work with him again.”
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