The phrase ‘he would tackle his own family member for three points’ is often bandied around, but in Lisandro Martinez’s case, he would happily chop down his own teammate.
Manchester United have been accused of lacking a backbone over the years and Martinez has been the perfect antidote to that specific long-standing problem.
If we were making a five-a-side team of footballers we’d want to follow into battle, the Argentine defender would be at the top of the list. He has the perfect blend of courage and craziness and we love him for that reason.
Quite rightly nicknamed ‘The Butcher’, Martinez is the sort of cult hero you can’t help but be gravitated towards. Willing to give everything for the shirt, he’s truly one of a kind.
“Sometimes I want to kill the opponents, but I can’t do it, otherwise I will be suspended every game,” the United defender hilariously explained via the Mirror.
“You have to be clever. It’s really hard… but you have to control as well. It’s our culture from Argentina. We’re always like this. Football, for us [Argentines], is everything so that’s why we always give everything of us.
“I remember when I was really young, like four or five, I start to fight and I start to cry when I lose. So it is something we have in the blood, we have in the heart.”
United fans have instantly taken to Martinez and when he speaks like that, it’s no wonder. Even the trivial debate over his height has now faded into the background because of how good he’s actually been.
It’s all well and good playing on the edge, but you need to be able to back that up with footballing ability. Luckily for Martinez, he’s also got that in abundance.
The Argentine defender has formed a formidable partnership with Raphael Varane this season and they seem to be getting better with each other by the week.
Martinez is always looking for an opportunity to go in two-footed on someone and after Fred made it 3-1 to United against West Ham, he sensed his perfect opportunity.
The way Licha slides into them is killing me 😭😭
Man just lives for violence 😭 pic.twitter.com/89rAYF4aHO
— 𝗇𝗂𝖺𝗆𝗁 (@niamhutd) March 1, 2023
The 25-year-old has made more blocks, interceptions and clearances than any other United player this season in the Premier League. It’s no wonder the fans love him.
He wears his heart on his sleeve and is prepared for battle every time he steps onto the pitch. His story of how he got into football in the first place is uplifting in itself.
“[When I was] about 13, very young, my parents confronted me,” Martinez told Inside United. “My dad was working as a bricklayer at that time. He said that if I wasn’t going to play football, I wasn’t going to make anything of myself, that I should compare football to being a bricklayer.
“So he set that scene and, once my father took me with him. I remember that I had to be there at seven in the morning. And I overslept, imagine that!
“I got there for around 10.30am or 11am. When I arrived, my father just looked at me. I remember it like it was yesterday. He looked at me and said: ‘Do you realise that this isn’t for you? You need to have a career in football. Football is your thing.’
“And that’s when the penny dropped for me.”
Several years on and 215 career appearances later, it’s fair to say that he made it at the top. Martinez is the sort of player that everyone wants on their team and United fans can’t get enough of him right now.