Arsenal legend Ian Wright thinks Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez “crossed the line” with his “sh*thousery” in their World Cup final win over France.
The Aston Villa stopper saved two spot-kicks in Argentina’s World Cup quarter-final victory over the Netherlands earlier in the tournament and was crucial again as Argentina overcame France in the World Cup final.
Argentina again won on penalties and Martinez used all the tricks in the book to try and stop France from scoring their penalties in the shoot-out.
After denying Kingsley Coman, Martinez threw the ball away from Aurelien Tchouameni ahead of his penalty, which the France midfielder dragged wide.
Martinez was then booked for attempting to approach Randal Kolo Muani ahead of his penalty with Argentina eventually winning the shoot-out 4-2 after the match had finished 3-3 after extra-time.
Speaking after Sunday’s final, Martinez said: “I did my thing that I dreamed of. It is in this moment that I have to give my teammates peace of mind.
“I could have stopped it (Mbappe’s penalty) too, I dived badly. But then I did everything right.”I have no words for it. I was calm during the penalty shootout and everything went as we wanted. All that I have dreamed of has been achieved.”
But Wright thinks Martinez went too far in his attempts to put off the French players after recalling a time he put off an Arsenal player.
“I look at Emi Martinez, remember the sh*thousery with Auba [Martinez tried to put off Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang when he stepped up to take a penalty against Aston Villa in October 2021] and all that stuff he was doing at Arsenal,” Wright said on his Ringer FC podcast.
“I was thinking this guy is going to go to another level of sh*thousery if this final goes to penalties. And he did.
“I like Emi but what he did in the penalty shootout crossed the line, in respect of sportsmanship. He crossed the line.”
And former Manchester United striker Louis Saha thinks Martinez’s actions have “overshadowed what he’s accomplished”.
“Martinez’s antics are going to be remembered for a long time and that’s a sad thing,” Saha told Paddy Power.
“He had a great tournament, and he didn’t need to do it. It was more about his adrenaline and some people do things without thinking and just instinctively do something they’ll regret.
“I haven’t seen or heard any apology from him for his actions but it’s sad because the conversation takes away from the great World Cup he had.
“It doesn’t help anything, and I don’t know what he was trying to say by doing it – it was really quite awkward.
“It’s overshadowed what he’s accomplished, and people are going to be talking about that, rather than his performance.”
READ MORE: Ranking all 20 Premier League-based World Cup winners by importance in country’s glory