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back Bundesliga | 25.11.2012 12:06:14

MARTINEZ: "IT'S SPECIAL FOR ME"

  • Javi Martinez broke his Bayern duck in some style against Hannover 96 on Saturday
  • A commanding and intelligent holding midfielder by trade, the 24-year-old's acrobatic execution ranked up their with the very best strikers world football has to offer
  • Infectious: Martinez' (r.) maiden strike as a Bayern player rubbed off on defender Dante (l.), who helped himself to his first for the club

Munich - Records went tumbling once again at the Allianz Arena, as FC Bayern Munich cruised to a 5-0 victory over Hannover 96 on Saturday.

Yet it wasn't the Bavarians' 11th win from 13 league games, their ninth clean sheet of the campaign, nor the third time this season that Jupp Heynckes' men have hit five goals or more in a single outing that lingered in the memory.

Head over heels


Instead, it was a first Bundesliga goal for record signing Javi Martinez, who could not have wished to open his account in more spectacular fashion. As early as the third minute, Toni Kroos whipped in a corner from the right, which was headed back across goal by Bastian Schweinsteiger, teeing up Martinez to hit the net with an acrobatic overhead kick.

"I've tried a few in the past, but that's the first one that's gone in," admitted the Spanish international, laughing off comparisons to recent strikes of a similar ilk by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Philippe Mexes on the international stage. The 24-year-old is not renowned for his eye for goal, but more for his defensive qualities, which were once again clear to see against the 96ers.

Unique keepsake


Only Toni Kroos (10.8km) covered more ground than Martinez (10.7km), while the midfielder won 12 of the 17 tackles he made. Even more impressively, the Iberian completed an astonishing 96 per cent of his passes and demonstrated his ability to retain possession even after the final whistle blew, picking up the match ball as a memento.

"It was my first goal in the Bundesliga for Bayern Munich and it's something special," the UEFA EURO 2012 winner said. "I'm very happy because it helped the team. I'm taking the ball, it's special for me, and I'm keeping it as a souvenir. I'll look after it very carefully." Indeed, so delighted was Martinez with his acquisition that after the final whistle he tweeted a photo of himself holding the ball and smiling broadly, along with the words: "Another win against a difficult team, I'm very happy to have scored my first goal."

"My goal helped us"


The Spaniard's scoring efforts also appeared to rub off on his team-mates, with four other individuals adding their names to the scoresheet. Like Martinez, defender Dante and returning striker Mario Gomez opened their accounts for the season against Hannover, making it eleven different players to have found the net for Bayern in the Bundesliga this term.

"The team began very well, " explained the ex-Athletic Bilbao man. "We tried to keep the ball in their half and cause them problems right from the start and we managed to do that. My goal helped us." Although signed more for his defensive capabilities, it looks like Martinez might just grab a few more of those helpful goals as the season rolls on.

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