Lille Fans Attempt to Attack World Cup Winner Emi Martinez During Conference League Match

World Cup winner Emi Martinez | Imago

Lille Fans Attempt to Attack World Cup Winner Emi Martinez During Conference League Match

Ayoola Kelechi 20:23 - 18.04.2024

Emiliano Martinez' reputation in France nearly cost him after the Argentine World Cup winner barely escaped an attack by Lille fans during Aston Villa's Conference League tie

In a shocking turn of events during Thursday's Europa Conference League clash between Lille and Aston Villa, angry Lille fans attempted to storm the goal of World Cup winner Emiliano Martinez, prompting stewards to intervene and prevent a potential attack on the Aston Villa star.

Unrest ahead of Aston Villa match

As the players lined up for pre-match handshakes ahead of kick-off, Martinez made his way towards his goal. However, after Villa's captain John McGinn won the coin toss, the decision was made to switch sides, placing Martinez near the section of Lille supporters known for their fervent support.

var widgetLoaderConfig = widgetLoaderConfig || { CDN_URL: '', APP_LINK: 'desktop', API_URL: '', API_KEY: '2f852b4de2f3a5cf3188e74b33087bb4:2c18422f8e826a7d11aeed52edb2449e', LANG: 'en', REQUEST_INTERVAL: 30, ENABLE_BET_SLIP: false, AUTHOR: false, THEME: "light", TOURNAMENT_ORDER: "pulse_nigeria", LINK_OPTIONS_V2: { 'player' : { 'url': '/football/player/{playerId}' }, 'team' : { 'url': '/football/{teamId}' }, 'tournament': { 'url': '/football/competition/{tournamentId}' }, 'match': { 'url' : '/football/match/{matchId}', 'sort': { 'criteria': 'alphabetically', 'direction': 'asc' } }, 'configuration': { 'newWindow': false }, 'standings_tournament': { 'url': '/football/competition/{tournamentId}/standings' } } }; if (!document.querySelector('script[src=""]')) { window.setTimeout(function () { let scriptCss = document.createElement('link'); scriptCss.href = ''; scriptCss.rel = 'stylesheet'; scriptCss.type = 'text/css'; document.body.appendChild(scriptCss); let scriptTag = document.createElement('script'); scriptTag.src = ''; scriptTag.defer = true; scriptTag.onload = function () { window.setTimeout(function () { new SMPWidgetsLoader(widgetLoaderConfig); }, 200); }; document.head.appendChild(scriptTag); }, 0); } else { new SMPWidgetsLoader(widgetLoaderConfig); }

Amidst a tense atmosphere, Lille fans could be seen jumping over railings and moving towards the pitch in an apparent attempt to confront Martinez. While stewards managed to prevent any fans from reaching the field, the incident added to the discomfort experienced by Martinez throughout the match.

Throughout the game, Martinez faced vocal hostility from the home supporters, with every touch of the ball met by loud whistles and jeers. The situation escalated when Villa found themselves trailing 1-0 after Yusuf Yazici's clinical finish, further intensifying the animosity directed towards Martinez.

Martinez' Controversial Past

Martinez's tumultuous relationship with French football supporters stems from his actions following Argentina's World Cup victory in 2022. Branded as the 'most hated Argentine in France' by French outlet TF1, Martinez faced criticism for mocking Kylian Mbappe and celebrating in a controversial manner.

Emiliano Martinez was crucial to Argentina's World Cup win over France | Imago
Emiliano Martinez was crucial to Argentina's World Cup win over France | Imago

In response to the backlash, Martinez clarified that his actions were not intended to be personal and expressed his fondness for France. He emphasized his respect for the French people and sought to downplay any animosity stemming from his previous actions.

What next for Emi Martinez?

Following the contentious match in France, Martinez will be hoping for a smoother experience when Aston Villa faces Bournemouth at Villa Park on Sunday. Despite the challenges faced during the Europa League clash, Martinez remains focused on his football and aims to move past the controversy surrounding him.

As the incident reverberates through the footballing world, it serves as a reminder of the intense passion and emotion often associated with the sport, highlighting the need for mutual respect and sportsmanship both on and off the field.

Related content