Just 18 days ago, Bavarian Football Works covered Athletic Bilbao’s sporting director Rafa Alkorta’s interest in bringing the club’s former players back to the largest city in the Basque Country. Naturally, one of these players included Javi Martinez, who left Bilbao for Munich in 2012.
Socrates Magazin had an exclusive interview with Martinez this month where he stated:
I cannot see myself going to another European club...Bayern is my last club on this level.
The acquisition of Martinez became the record transfer in the history of the Bundesliga when Bayern bought him for €40 million in the very last days of 2012 summer window. Martinez enjoyed great success his first season under club legend, Jupp Heynckes and was vital in Bayern’s treble season. Martinez could be among those be credited for breaking up the “Tiki-taka” football of Xavi and Iniesta during the two Champions League semifinal matches.
January 26, 2019
During the Pep Guardiola era, Martinez saw himself more and more on the bench. He tore ligaments in his left knee during his third season at Bayern, forcing him to the sidelines. He returned to regular playing time under Carlo Ancelotti and the subsequent return of Heynckes, but Niko Kovac has been hesitant to regularly give Martinez a spot in the starting eleven. The lack of playing time has fueled rumors of the Spaniard going back to Bilbao.
What to make of this quote is purely up to speculation. Taken at face value, Martinez’s last club in Europe will be Bayern, but it could also leave the door open to retire in the United States or somewhere outside the European continent. It is important to note, however, that a possible transfer to Bilbao should not be ruled out at this point as the connection to his old club is still strong.