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The trophy that saved me: Lautro Martinez returns to himself at Inter Israel today


Nothing worked for the 25-year-old striker in the World Cup, he missed endlessly, and if Argentina had not won the cup - he would have ended up as the tragic hero • When he returned to Italy after the tournament, he put the bad period behind him and returned to scoring goals • Tonight, against Porto, he will try to continue his form the good

Lucky for Lautro Martins is that winners are always remembered as winners.

After all, in the end, when the trophy is lifted, everything that led to it drains into success.

The better and the less good, they are all part of the whole story.

The whole story of Argentina in the World Cup in Qatar is that after 36 years, they lifted the World Cup for the third time.

And when that happened, all the players became heroes.

There is not one left with a scar, guilty to direct the arrows of criticism, a symbol of failure.

As far as Lautro Martins is concerned, this is no small matter.

A few centimeters separated the striker of Inter and the tragic figure of Argentina in the World Cup.

Everyone remembers Emiliano Martínez's save for Randall Kolo Muani's kick in the 123rd minute of the final, but few remember that later in the same attack, Lautre struck from 5 meters out.

And just as this sin was already swallowed up with the swing - there were many more that were forgotten.

For example: the standout goals against Saudi Arabia, the big misses against Australia, also misses against the Netherlands - a total of 238 minutes that started in the lineup and ended deep on the bench, and included 11 kicks on goal, only four on frame and zero goals.

Lautre Martins.

It was decided by a precise penalty, photo: Getty

Among the misses was the winning penalty against the Dutch in the quarter-finals, but he too was unable to restore the striker's lost confidence.

From the team's goal scorer in the qualifiers and the Copa America, Martins collapsed to the status of a substitute who gets 8 minutes in a game.

What could have happened to Martins if Argentina had not won the cup can easily be imagined.

Gonzalo Higuain is a living example of a striker who missed out when a major trophy was on the line for Argentina - World Cup or Copa America - and the price was high.

"I had the bad luck to miss big opportunities," Pipita said at the press conference where he announced his retirement.

"Those were difficult moments, but maybe without those moments I wouldn't have been able to move on."

Martins passed the difficult moments, and he definitely moved on.

Since the World Cup break, the Inter striker has scored 8 goals in 11 games, including a goal in the Super Cup against Milan and another winning goal against the Rossoneri in the derby.

"He is the man who should lead Inter", wrote this week in "Gazetta" ahead of the match against Porto, and it seems that there is no other option.

Lautre Martins.

The leader of Inter, photo: Reuters

"I decided to give it my all"

For Martins, the poor performance in the World Cup was inevitable.

"I arrived in Qatar with a broken ankle, I couldn't kick a goal," he said after the tournament.

"I didn't play the way I wanted, I didn't live up to my own expectations."

In retrospect, it was this understanding that helped the 25-year-old striker deal with the situation.

"I decided that I will give everything, even if it is off the field," he added, and did not forget to praise his replacement, Julián Albers: "I am very happy for him, he is an excellent player."

Instead of eating himself up for the fouls, Martinez put all these behind him as soon as Monteil's penalty touched the net and crowned Argentina the world champion: "It was a unique, unforgettable moment. A dream come true."

When he awoke from the dream, Martinez was determined to work harder than any other world champion.

Although the World Cup left him with a gold medal and not a scar, but the ability did not really satisfy him.

"I'm returning to training out of love for the game, and out of a desire to win every game," he announced when the festival ended - and that's exactly what he did.

Since the World Cup, Martinez is sharp and focused in front of the goal as never before.

He is given responsibility and leadership, and in return received the captain's armband.

"I am happy to see that he is successful at Inter," said his national team coach, Lionel Scaloni.

"He always was and always will be my first striker."

Even at Inter his position is stable and solid, and tonight he will try to continue to do everything he failed to do in Qatar - score goals and win games.


At the end he also waved a trophy, photo: Getty

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Source: israelhayom

All sports articles on 2023-02-22

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