Lisandro Martinez names Man United hero.
New Manchester United signing Lisandro Martinez has revealed that former Red Devils defender Gabriel Heinze is his idol in football.
Martinez revealed his admiration for his fellow Argentine in his first interview with Man United club media since signing from Ajax.
“He’s my idol,” said the centre-back, of the man who made 83 appearances for the club from 2004 until 2007. “It’s also very important to be here, because he was playing here. This was one of my challenges, also.”
“The tackles, the passes, the mentality,” Martinez added, when asked what he liked most about the former full-back.
Gabriel Heinze at Man United.
Heinze is a fellow countryman, who played in a similar position, and embodied a fighting spirit that Martinez will hope to emulate at Old Trafford.
With all of this in mind, it’s no surprise that the 24-year-old looks up so much to the 2004/05 Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year.
However, there are some Man United supporters who may have advised Martinez to keep quiet about his admiration for Heinze, given how things ended for him at the club.
After the January 2006 signing of Patrice Evra, Heinze fell behind the Frenchman in Alex Ferguson’s left-back pecking order, starting only 17 times as the club won the 2006/07 Premier League title, their first in four years.
It was that summer that the then-29-year-old is said to have tried to force through a transfer to arch-rivals Liverpool, only for United to reject to the move, at the behest of Ferguson.
Heinze would eventually sign for Real Madrid, but the manner of his final days at Old Trafford certainly left a bitter taste in the eyes of many.
He would go on to make a modest impact in the Spanish capital, winning La Liga in 2007/08, before moving to Marseille where he won the 2009/10 Ligue 1 title.
Martinez is sure to be forgiven for his choice of hero and while the fanbase’s relationship with Heinze is tainted, the man nicknamed ‘The Butcher of Amsterdam’ would do well to replicate some of his idol’s on-field characteristics.
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