Aston Villa’s Emi Martinez spends evening going door-to-door in Lille telling residents to ‘Shhh’

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Fresh from a triumphant penalty shootout against Lille in the Europa Conference League, Aston Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez decided the local populace needed a more personal touch to truly digest their defeat.

Martinez, not content with merely silencing the roaring crowd at the stadium during the penalty shootout, embarked on an evening stroll through Lille’s quaint streets, knocking on doors to remind residents of the virtues of silence, while offering them his trademark ‘shoulder shuffle’ to those who greeted him at the doorstep.

Armed with nothing but his finger pressed firmly to his lips, Martinez’s tour began at dusk and continued well into the night as he set about bringing tears to the eyes of all Lille residents.

Local police were baffled by reports of a tall man in goalkeeper gloves, whispering “shhh” every time a door opened.

“It’s like he was on a mission to turn Lille into the world’s largest library,” commented one officer, who preferred to remain anonymous.

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The escapade started after Martinez was seen making the universal ‘silence’ gesture to the Lille fans during the penalty shootout, a move that earned him a second yellow card, but apparently not enough personal satisfaction. According to sources close to the team, Martinez felt the need to “really drive the point home before returning to Birmingham.”

Residents of Lille were less than thrilled, “I was just sitting down to dinner, and there he was at my window, gesturing for me to be quiet,” said one bewildered local, who initially mistook Martinez for a very strict noise control officer.

“Then he just walked backwards down my path, shuffling his shoulders while looking me dead in the eye, using two fingers to point at his own eyes and then mine, to make sure I knew he saw me.”

Social media has exploded with hashtags #ShhhEmi and #MartinezAtMyDoor, with some neutral fans appreciating the goalie’s commitment to shithousery, while others are calling for a city-wide ban on finger-to-lip gestures.

By the end of the night, Martinez had not only cemented his status as the ultimate goalkeeping provocateur, but had also inadvertently promoted a night of unprecedented quiet in Lille, a silence only broken by the occasional screams of frustrated football fans.

As tempers started to flare, captain John McGin stepped in as a peacemaker to drag Martinez onto the team’s plan, though one bemused Lille fan told us, “We’ve no idea what McGinn said; it certainly didn’t sound like English.”