Roberto Baggio

Roberto Baggio
Il Divin Codino

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

6 of the Best: Libertadores Cup Stars

Martínez was a member of the Ecuador team that won the 2007 Pan-American Games gold medal in Rio de Janiero. Cruzeiro of Belo Horizonte liked what they saw and kept him in Brazil but the move did not work out and, in 2010, he went home and joined Deportivo, taking him with a Brazilian box of tricks.

Martínez proved to be a key player in last year's domestic title-winning campaign. Deportivo's first option in the Libertadores was always to play the ball out wide to him on the left flank, where he was capable of tearing defences apart.
Given space he could surge past his man with sustained pace and a burst of acceleration; marked tightly he could roll his man or free a team-mate with a cleverly angled pass. He was most effective pulling back left-footed crosses for advancing team-mates - he played a huge part in Matías Alustiza's eight goals - but could also get into the box and score himself.
The last of his three goals in the campaign was the clear highlight, racing on from the halfway line against Universidad de Chile to blast in a unstoppable left-footed shot. In celebration of that goal, Alustiza pretended to be a photographer taking a shot of Martínez - and European scouts would be well advised to keep him in their sights.

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