Javi Martinez came to Bayern Munich from Athletic Bilbao as a fresh-faced 23-year-old who was extremely clear as to why he left Spain for Germany.
“Bayern are one of the best teams in Europe, even the world,” Martinez said at the time (per Bundesliga.com). “There are so many top players here who all play fantastic football and that’s a great motivation for me. Obviously, I’ve come here to win titles, too.”
At that point in his young career, Martinez was a true destroyer of a midfielder who brought a big presence to the center of the park. With his initial goal “to win titles” in mind, Martinez went on to do plenty of that. Specifically, Martinez had these monumental victories:
- Eight Bundesliga titles (so far)
- Five DFB-Pokal trophies
- Four DFL-Supercups
- Two UEFA Supercups
- Two FIFA Club World Cups
- Two UEFA Champions Leagues titles
Without a doubt, it was “mission accomplished” for Martinez when it comes to winning titles. Even more, though, Martinez was consistent with his winning as he “won” more games (82%) than any other player in the history of the league who had at least 100 appearance (per @OptaFranz):
And sure, these last few years have not been the most productive for Martinez. More valuable for his presence in the locker room than his play on the pitch these days, Martinez is 32 and not quite the player he once was.
Maybe he should have bolted a couple of years back and spent more time on the pitch over the past few seasons, but then he would have missed Bayern Munich’s miracle run during the 2019/2020 campaign. Regardless, Martinez’s time in Bavaria might be ending, but some lucky club will soon find out that there is some gas left in the tank. It might not be the proper octane to fuel a finely-tuned machine like Bayern Munich, but it is certainly good enough to bring steady play and leadership to any club that could use those attributes in the defensive midfield or at center-back.
So, yeah, it is the end of the road for Martinez in Bavaria, but the serial winner will no doubt find a new club to help reap the benefits of all that he has learned since putting pen-to-paper back in 2012.
It’s been one hell of a ride.