Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez has detailed a bricklaying incident that inspired him to pursue a career in football.
Martinez, nicknamed “the Butcher” for his uncompromising style in defense, had a stratospheric 2022.
The center-back, who is now 25 years old, left Ajax for United last summer for £56.7 million before winning the World Cup with Argentina in December. It was the first time his country had been crowned world champions since 1986.
Despite being overlooked for a starting spot at United in recent weeks, with Erik ten Hag picking Raphael Varane and Luke Shaw instead, the Argentine has generally been in good form since his arrival.
In an interview with Inside United, the official magazine of the Old Trafford club, Martinez spoke about his upbringing in Argentina and his journey to becoming a footballer.
Martinez explained that there was one incident in particular that helped him decide to pursue a career in football.
Indeed, a candid conversation with his father set him on a path that would eventually lead him to Old Trafford.
Martinez explained, “When I was very young, about 13 years old, my parents confronted me.”
My father was working as a bricklayer at the time. He told me that if I didn’t play football, I wouldn’t do anything with my life and that I had to compare football to being a bricklayer.
“So he prepared the ground, and once my father took me with him.” I remember I had to be there at seven in the morning. And I didn’t wake up—imagine that!
“I arrived around 10:30 or 11 a.m. When I arrived, my father looked at me. I remember it like it was yesterday. He looked at me and said, “Do you realize this isn’t for you?” You have to pursue a career in football. “Football is your thing.”