FC Bayern’s Javi Martinez has lost his team spirit, according to a Fussball News report. The 29-year-old’s morale at the club reportedly is on the decline, apparently because he is unhappy with his playing time, following a brief and unfortunate ending to the campaign and criticism from now-retired boss, Jupp Heynckes.
The Spanish midfielder has not only fallen down the pecking order, but has also shown his frustration in training and matches. In a story written by Fussball News reporter, Christopher Michel, Martinez has become quite phlegmatic in the past few weeks. He was benched in the Champions League semifinal second leg against soon-to-be champions, Real Madrid because of his lackluster effort to stop Madrid’s equalizing goal in the first leg. His training work rate has sunk as well, which is not the first time an FC Bayern player has given less than 100 percent.
Bayern fans may recall the brief macho-man skirmish between center back, Mats Hummels, and striker, Robert Lewandowski. The Polish number nine reportedly quit on his training side in a inter-squad scrimmage in February, choosing to tie his Nike Hypervenom Phantom boots, leaving his side one man down. The arguably selfish move led to confrontation between Hummels and Lewandowski bumping chests, but were later separated. Martinez’s story is different. In this case, the defender was not called out by anyone, but his lack of effort and commitment as a player has not gone unnoticed.
Martinez often travels back to his native Bilbao in Spain for the occasional check-in with family and friends. However, instead of staying in Munich and perhaps completing an extra training session or two, Martinez prefers to take his days off to fly from the Bayern capital to his hometown.
The 6-foot-3-inch sportsman is a defensive midfielder at first choice but naturally adjusts to the center back role if need be. The first team remains the deepest in the midfield, causing a juggle for the manager to choose who plays each match. Jupp Heynckes often chose Arturo Vidal and James Rodriguez to fill the central midfield roles. Both Vidal and Spanish maestro, Thiago Alcántara, have been rumored to be listed as available for transfer. However, it would be hard to believe that both players will leave this summer.
Under newly appointed manager, Niko Kovac, Martinez will perhaps have a fresh start to impress for playing time. In the 53 matches that FC Bayern played last season, Martinez played in 35. However, in the last 11 fixtures of the season, the Spanish midfielder started only five. Fussball News cite Kicker for information that Kovac is indeed planning to use Martinez in the coming season.
Martinez’s contract runs until June 2021. President Uli Hoenss and CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, from what it seems, do not want to sell the Spaniard. Martinez will look to impress the front office and Kovac over the summer at Säbener Straße. Javi was also left out of the Spanish National team squad ahead of the FIFA World Cup. Thiago will be the sole representative of Bayern in Spain’s ranks next month in Russia.