Reason for Emi Martinez’s World Cup antics against Mbappe finally unveiled & it may surprise you

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Not many people know Emiliano Martinez better than ex-Aston Villa goalkeeping coach Neil Cutler, who knows the exact motive behind his viral World Cup antics.

Emiliano Martinez’s former coach and close friend Neil Cutler has assured there was no malice behind the goalkeeper’s viral World Cup celebrations. The Argentine found himself going viral with images and videos circulating for days of his unique celebrations after the World Cup final.

Martinez enjoyed the best month of his footballing journey to date last December, as he kept three clean sheets and won the Golden Glove to help Argentina to their first global triumph since 1986. The goalkeeper made the headlines for his actions off the field as opposed to on, however, catching many an eye.

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From thrusting the Golden Glove award to his midriff to asking for a minute’s silence for Kylian Mbappe in the dressing room, Martinez’s unusual antics caused a mixed response. Some found his actions entertaining whereas others were upset by them, but Cutler believes he knows exactly why Martinez did what he did.

Recruited by Dean Smith and then kept on by Steven Gerrard, Cutler had the chance to develop a very close relationship with Martinez over arguably the most important two-year period of his career so far. Working dusk to dawn to ensure Martinez developed efficiently throughout that time, not many people know the 30-year-old better.

“It’s just his personality, he’s like a big kid,” Cutler exclusively told Birmingham World. “There’s nothing in his nature to hurt anybody and he’s empathetic if anything else. He’s very caring, so when it comes to that side of it, he would’ve felt there was no malice in what he was doing.

“Imagine, he’s just reached the pinnacle of his career and he’s letting it all out - he deserves it. I’m sure Kylian Mbappe’s not going to be hurt by what he’s seen and heard. He’s just super excited that he’s just won the World Cup and the Golden Glove, and if you knew how passionate he was about his country and winning things for his country, you’d just let him be,” Cutler said.

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The videos seen by millions showed Martinez be exactly that - passionate - but many believed he went a step too far, disrespecting not only Mbappe but the competition as a whole. But Cutler reiterated it was simply the Argentine’s emotions coming through and a way of bringing his teammates closer together.

After all, it wasn’t just Martinez dancing around in the changing room, but almost the entire Argentina squad. Not just that, but the former Arsenal man, who Cutler described as the hardest-working player he has ever coached, has also had an almightily tough run to get to where he is today.

Neil Cutler, left, looks on during the Premier League clash between Manchester City and Aston Villa in January 2021.Neil Cutler, left, looks on during the Premier League clash between Manchester City and Aston Villa in January 2021.
Neil Cutler, left, looks on during the Premier League clash between Manchester City and Aston Villa in January 2021.

“He’s the one in the dressing room that’s trying to bring everyone together, he’s very conscious of that,” Cutler continued. “He’ll arrange barbecues, getting the group and all the families together because he’s such a family man. That’s the kind of person he is - he wants everybody to be close, getting on, and moving forward together.

“He deserves everything that he gets because of his work ethic, drive, dedication and desire to achieve. It’s not in his nature to hurt anyone or go too far, it’s just his passion, release and relief. If you knew him closely, you’d realise that it’s just his personality and he’s a genuine person. It’s just the way he is,” Cutler concluded.

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