‘He’s a who doesn’t have the attitude of a high-level sportsman’ – Lille president criticises Aston Villa’s Emiliano Martínez

It is fair to say that there is no love lost between France and Emiliano Martínez (31). His antics in the World Cup final, during which Argentina beat Les Bleus on penalties, received significant criticism in La Hexagone. 

Martínez arrived in Lille on Wednesday as public enemy No.1. The Argentinian goalkeeper was booed by the home crowd at the Stade Pierre Mauroy as Aston Villa faced Lille OSC in the second leg of their UEFA Europa Conference League quarter-final. However, just as he did at the World Cup final, it was Martínez who had the last laugh. 

The Aston Villa goalkeeper made two stops during the penalty shootout to ensure the Premier League side’s progression to the semi-finals of the competition, at the expense of Les Dogues. Whilst Paulo Fonseca described Martínez as a “great goalkeeper”, Lille president Olivier Létang was critical of the Argentine’s attitude in the match, having teased the LOSC fans and also used destabilising techniques in the penalty shoot-out, notably with Nabil Bentaleb. 

“I don’t want to waste time talking about this boy, who doesn’t have the attitude of a high-level sportsman because in defeat, as in victory, you have to stay calm and elegant,” said Létang post-match. 

GFFN | Luke Entwistle

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