A closer look at Bayern Munich’s unsung hero (Video)

Bayern Munich have had a truly wonderful season and become the first ever German side to do the treble and only the seventh in European football to achieve such a feat. They wrapped up the league title in some style, with many matches to spare such was their points lead over Borussia Dortmund, and then beat their fierce rivals at Wembley courtesy of a last minute Arjen Robben goal to lift the Champions League trophy. The league cup was the cherry on top of the cake and Jupp Heynckes has signed off his management of the club in style. However, let’s have a look at one of the unsung heroes that has been so pivotal to all this success.

 

A quick, strong and devastatingly effective attack that included Robben, Ribery, Muller, Schweinsteiger and Mandzukic meant that players of the calibre of Mario Gomez, Toni Kroos and others were regularly left on the bench. However, perhaps the most important part of this jigsaw, and the reason why the Bavarians were so dangerous, was holding midfielder Javi Martinez. When Bayern splashed out £40m on the Athletic Bilbao player last summer there were more than just a few eyebrows raised over the size of the transfer fee. Granted he was already a Spanish international and excellent under Marcelo Bielsa, but worth that amount? Really?

A year on from his move and he has silenced his critics and left the sceptics swallowing their words. He has the composure and reliability of an extremely experienced player, which is not commonly found in someone so young. He has effortlessly slotted into the side and his workrate and positioning skills have given the other players around him the freedom to get forward and attack in numbers. It is now no surprise that his transfer fee was so hefty, as Bilbao must have realised what a gem they had on their books.

Whilst players in his position don’t often receive the praise they deserve, and are generally happy to get on with things out of the constant media glare that is afforded to strikers and attacking midfielders, I believe that we should recognise what a fantastic debut campaign he has had at Bayern and I look forward to seeing him next year under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola.

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