Bayern Munich's Javi Martinez has explained who his footballing inspiration was whilst he was growing up - admitting that whilst he admired some professional players in his youth, it was actually his older brother that inspired him the most.

The Spaniard's career in Germany has been a hugely successful one. After making the switch from Athletic Bilbao in 2012, Martinez has gone on to win all sorts of silverware with the ​Bundesliga giants.

However, he has now admitted, in the Players' Tribune, that his initial inspiration to become a footballer arrived from his older brother, Alvaro - who was nine years his elder:

"​I remember wanting to become just like him. I wanted to play in those games, at that level. He was my role model, my motivation and my idol," begins Martinez.

"I didn’t have any star players as idols, even though I really liked players like Zinedine Zidane and Patrick Vieira. No, for me, it was my brother.

"He was the most influential person in my career, without a doubt." 

"The best advice Álvaro gave me was to never look at football as a business. He said, “The only way to deal with these constant worries of Did I play well today? and Did I have a good game? that we all have as footballers is to ask yourself a different question: Did I enjoy myself playing today?

"If you can stop for a minute and respond by saying, Yes, I really enjoyed today, then 99.9% of the time, you will have played a good game. And if you didn’t enjoy it or didn’t feel comfortable, then you have played poorly.

"I needed that support — someone who could act as my mother, father, brother, and friend, a bit of everything."

Eintracht Frankfurt v FC Bayern Muenchen - Bundesliga

The Spaniard also opened up on who surprised him the most when arriving in Bavaria. While there were some real superstars amongst the ​Bayern playing squad, it was young David Alaba that stunned Martinez:

"I knew all about Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry before I got here, but the one player who surprised me most was David Alaba." Martinez explains. 

"When I arrived in 2012, he wasn’t the star he is now. I personally didn’t really know of him. 

"I remember the first time training with him, I was so impressed with his strength and his quality. He was the one player who really surprised me. I could tell he was going to be a very big part of our success."