Inigo Martinez reveals why he joined Barcelona & opens up on previous failed transfer

  • Martinez joined Barcelona on free transfer earlier this month
  • Defender came close to signing for La Blaugrana in the past
  • 32-year-old insists Barça are better than Real Madrid

Martinez has been unveiled as a Barcelona player
Martinez has been unveiled as a Barcelona player / Alex Caparros/GettyImages

Inigo Martinez has admitted head coach Xavi had a key role in convincing him to sign for Barcelona this summer.

The centre-back has joined La Blaugrana on a free transfer following the expiration of his contract at Athletic Club.

Martinez arrives in Catalonia as one of La Liga's most experienced and reliable defenders, earning 20 caps with the Spain national team.

Speaking to MARCA, Martinez admitted that though his interactions with Xavi have been brief to this point, he was impressed with how the legendary midfielder came across.

"I've had a talk with the coach, but we haven't had much time to talk in depth either. What he has transmitted to me has been all his confidence," Martinez said.

"Rest assured, everything will go well. I'm at a great club. He's willing to help me. Xavi has shown me from minute one that he wants me here."



As one of Spain's most consistent performers over the last decade, Martinez has invariably been linked with moves to either Barcelona or Real Madrid.

Martinez admitted that he was close to signing for Barça in the past, while he echoed sentiments from club president Joan Laporta that they are better than Real Madrid.

"I was close to arriving a few years ago, but the world of football works like that. One day you are here and another in another place. Each player knows what he has to do to be able to reach these places," he continued.

"Barça better than Madrid? Needless to say, yes. The team proved that last year. Why not again this year? We have a great team. You see the work they’re doing and you see last year's titles. I know where I come from, what the club and what I need to do.

"We come to win and to fight for our position with others. We are above all people and teammates. The best thing is to perform 100% and be better than our rivals."


On this week's edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Toby Cudworth and Graeme Bailey discuss Bayern Munich meeting Tottenham over Harry Kane, Jordan Henderson considering leaving Liverpool for the riches of the Saudi Pro League, Levi Colwill's latest Chelsea dilemma, Aston Villa's interest in Bayer Leverkusen winger Moussa Diaby & more!

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