Emery to speak with Martinez after controversial Argentina celebrations

Unai Emery will address Emiliano Martinez’s controversial celebrations following Argentina’s World Cup victory when the goalkeeper returns to Aston Villa.

Martinez was the penalty shoot-out hero for La Albiceleste at Qatar 2022, helping them to victory over France in the final.

But it has been suggested the keeper’s subsequent celebrations have crossed the line. Martinez, whose gamesmanship in the shoot-out had already drawn criticism, has appeared to repeatedly taunt beaten France hat-trick hero Kylian Mbappe.

Martinez called for a “moment of silence” for Mbappe in the dressing room after Argentina’s win and was seen holding a bizarre puppet with the France forward’s face on during homecoming celebrations.

French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet revealed this week he had written to his Argentina counterparts to complain about abuse aimed at Mbappe.

Asked about the subject ahead of Villa’s return to Premier League action against Liverpool on Boxing Day, Emery stopped short of criticising his player but acknowledged there would be discussions about his conduct.

“When you have big emotions, sometimes it’s difficult to control [them],” he stated. “I will speak with him next week about some celebrations.

“But for now, I respect that he is with his national team. When he is going to be with us and under our responsibility, we can speak about it then.”

Martinez is to miss the match against Liverpool as he remains in Argentina.

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