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    Sport

    Emi Martinez Jeered by Lille Fans in Tense Match

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    Emi Martinez Jeered by Lille Fans in Tense Match
    • April 19, 2024 • 1 month ago
    in summary
    Lille fans tried to confront Aston Villa's Emi Martinez for his World Cup celebrations mocking Mbappe. The hostile crowd jeered him throughout the game, but Martinez denied any personal attacks.

    Emi Martinez, Aston Villa's goalkeeper, found himself in the eye of a storm during their crucial Europa Conference League match against Lille in northern France. The Argentine shot-stopper's past celebrations after Argentina's World Cup victory in 2022 appeared to come back to haunt him, as angry Lille fans expressed their disapproval.

    Martinez's relationship with French supporters has been strained ever since his exuberant antics following Argentina's World Cup triumph. His actions, particularly those directed towards French star Kylian Mbappé, left a bitter taste in the mouths of many French fans.

    The tension was palpable from the moment the teams took the field. As the players lined up for the pre-match handshakes, Martinez made his way towards his goal. However, things took a surprising turn when Aston Villa captain John McGinn won the coin toss and opted to switch sides. This unexpected move placed Martinez right in front of the most passionate Lille supporters' section.

    The atmosphere instantly intensified. Lille fans, fueled by their dislike for Martinez, were visibly agitated. Some were seen attempting to jump over the railings and surge towards the pitch, with stewards scrambling to intervene and prevent a potential confrontation. Thankfully, the fans were contained, but the incident undoubtedly rattled Martinez.

    Emi
    Emi Martinez after receiving a yellow card in the first half against lille

    Throughout the match, Martinez endured a barrage of whistles and jeers from the hostile home crowd. His every touch was scrutinized and met with disapproval. As if the hostile environment wasn't enough, things went from bad to worse for Villa when Lille's Yusuf Yazici put the home side ahead with a clinical finish.

    To add insult to injury, Martinez was shown a yellow card just before halftime for delaying a goal kick. The frustration for the Argentine goalie was evident.

    French media outlet TF1 had previously dubbed Martinez the most hated Argentine in France due to his World Cup celebrations, which included mocking Mbappé. One video showed him leading a chant in Spanish that loosely translated to a minute of silence for the dead Mbappé. Another image that surfaced depicted Martinez celebrating with a toy baby doll bearing Mbappé's face.

    Since those incidents, Martinez has attempted to downplay his actions, insisting they weren't meant to be personal. He has stated his love for France and the French people, even mentioning his positive experiences vacationing there and sharing a room with French teammates at Aston Villa. He has also acknowledged the legendary status of former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, a Frenchman who now works for FIFA.

    Despite Martinez's attempts to mend fences, the animosity from some Lille fans was undeniable. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the passionate nature of football fandom and the lingering effects that on-field celebrations can have. While Martinez may have intended his actions as lighthearted banter, they clearly struck a nerve with many French supporters.

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