Michail Antonio labels Emi Martinez a 'snake' after Lionel Messi shirt incident
Photo by Jacques Feeney/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Michail Antonio labels Emi Martinez a 'snake' after Lionel Messi shirt incident

West Ham United striker Michail Antonio has labelled Emiliano Martinez a ‘snake’ after the Aston Villa goalkeeper apparently gave one of his teammates Lionel Messi’s shirt instead of him. 

Martinez enjoyed a memorable World Cup campaign with Argentina as he played a key role in helping La Albiceleste to lift the trophy. 

The 30-year-old put in some inspired displays between the sticks and was the hero on two occasions as Lionel Scaloni’s men came through penalty shootouts against the Netherlands and of course, France. 

The tournament saw Lionel Messi lift his first ever World Cup and arguably cement his place as the greatest player of all time. 

But before the World Cup kicked off, Argentina played Jamaica in a friendly back in September and Antonio is not happy with Martinez for what he did after the game. 

The Villa shot stopper decided to give Messi’s match-worn shirt to Leon Bailey, after Antonio had asked him for it beforehand. 

Photo by Shaun Botterill – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Antonio labels Martinez a ‘snake’ 

Speaking on the Footballer’s Football Podcast, Antonio was asked by presenter Rickie Haywood-Williams why he didn’t secure Messi’s shirt after the friendly. 

“Do you know why? Because Martinez is a snake man! He’s a big boy. I can’t believe it,” he said. 

“I knew Emi Martinez before Leon Bailey. Bailey is just a teammate. I played with this guy 10 years ago, not at one club, at two! 

“I was like ‘help me out here, get me Messi’s shirt’. He was like ‘I’ll see what I can do’. Ten minutes later Messi’s shirt comes in and I’m thinking ‘for me, yeah!’. But he handed it to Leon Bailey!” 

Antonio played with Martinez during their spells at Sheffield Wednesday and Reading. Martinez was sent out on loan multiple times by Arsenal, while Antonio was rising through the ranks before his move to West Ham. 

Photo by Jacques Feeney/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

The pair go way back and Antonio clearly thought his old friend would give him what every footballer would probably love to get their hands on. But the £17 million shot stopper opted to give Messi’s shirt to Antonio’s international teammate Bailey instead. 

Of course, Antonio was clearly joking about his old teammate but the 32-year-old will undoubtedly be hoping to get another opportunity to play against Messi in the future.

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