Aston Villa Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez Nearly Confronted by Irate French Fans in Scary Scenes

Aston Villa Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez Nearly Confronted by Irate French Fans in Scary Scenes

Rene Otinga
updated at April 18, 2024 at 7:23 PM
In this article:
Aston Villa logo
Aston Villa
UEFA Europa Conference League logo
Lille logo
Emiliano Martínez logo
E. Martínez
Aston Villa logoGArgentina logo
  • Aston Villa travelled to Lille for the UEFA Europa Conference League quarter-final
  • Goalkeeper, Emiliano Martinez, had a hostile reception at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy
  • The Argentine made an enemy out of French fans after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar

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Argentine goalkeeper, Emiliano Martinez, is making no new friends in France.

Dibu travelled with Aston Villa to France to face Lille in the Europa Conference League second leg, as the Villains hoped to sail through to the semis after a 2-1 first-leg win.

Emiliano Martinez, Aston Villa, Europa Conference League, Hostile fans,
Aston Villa's Emiliano Martinez reacts during the UEFA Europa Conference League 2023/24 quarter-final second leg match against Lille OSC at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on April 18. Photo by Franco Arland.
Source: Getty Images

Despite the away goal rule being scrapped, Villa still had a mountain to climb as they played in front of a very unfriendly crowd at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy.

One player who was consistently targeted was Martinez, with the Lille fans refusing to forget the heartache he caused them more than 15 months ago at the 2022 World Cup.

Martinez nearly confronted by Lille fans

According to SPORTbible, there was an elaborate plan by Lille's ultras to make the evening difficult for Aston Villa players, particularly their goalkeeper.

A video shared by Get French Football News appeared to show several fans trying to confront Martinez as he was walking towards his goalposts, amid jeers across the stadium.

Stewards appeared to intervene and the Villa goalkeeper tried to keep his cool and could be seen picking up a bottle of water from the side of the goals.

Why is Emiliano Martinez hated?

On December 18 2022, the world witnessed one of the most memorable World Cup finals in history as France and Argentina played out a thrilling 3-3 draw.

La Albiceleste had been heavily reliant on their goalkeeper throughout their tournament, and his best moment of the competition came when he stopped France’s Kolo Muani’s goal-bound effort in a one-on-one situation deep into extra time.

Many fans believe that save was the difference for Argentina, who went on to lift the trophy at the expense of a heart-broken French fan base.

During the post-match presentations, Martinez courted controversy with his offensive celebration. He was pictured with the tournament’s golden glove on his crotch, as if mocking France.

Since then, there has been no love lost between the goalkeeper and French football fans.

How the Europa League QF match went

The Aston Villa goalkeeper’s evening went from bad to worse, as Villa fell behind 15 minutes into the game. Yusuf Yazici sent fans into delirium after sweeping home an effort to make it 2-2 on aggregate.

In the second half, Lille turned the tie around through Benjamin Andre, who headed in a corner as Unai Emery’s side were punished from a set piece once again.

There was still time for more drama as in the 87th minute, Matty Cash levelled matters after taking advantage of a mistake by Lille goalkeeper, Lucas Chevalier.

Mbappe winds up Barca fans

Elsewhere, Sports Brief reported on how Kylian Mbappe wound up Barcelona fans after PSG knocked them out of the UEFA Champions League.

He scored twice to help the French giants come from behind to secure a 6-4 aggregate win, with fans jeering the Real Madrid-bound superstar.

Rene Otinga photo
Rene Otinga
Rene Otinga is a sports journalist with over eight years of working experience in digital media. Rene's experience includes working as a Copywriter at X News Kenya and