Lisandro Martinez.

Read Martinez's signing interview in full

Thursday 28 July 2022 10:00

Lisandro Martinez is officially a Manchester United player after finalising his summer switch from Ajax.

The Argentina international will link up again with former boss Erik ten Hag and could make his bow in the red shirt during one of our weekend friendlies, against Atletico Madrid and Rayo Vallecano, both live on the United App.

As part of his first visit to Carrington, the centre-back spent some time answering our club media questions for his opening interview as a Red.

See what he had to say in full...

Lisandro Martinez: The signing interview Video

Lisandro Martinez: The signing interview

Signing interview | Lisandro Martinez explains what it means to join United during our in-depth Q&A...

Lisandro, welcome to Manchester United. How does it feel to be here?
“Thank you so much. Well, I’m really happy to be here, in this amazing club. Yeah, I’m really happy.”

There were other clubs who wanted to sign you. So what made you choose to come to United?
“Well, Manchester United I think is one of the best clubs in the world. Every player wants to play here. The opportunity was there, so I took it and now I’m really happy to be here.”

Apart from Erik ten Hag, did you speak to anyone about joining United before you came? Did you speak to Donny [van de Beek], Daley [Blind], anybody like that?
“Well, I spoke with Donny when everything was done, yeah. I asked something to Donny. We spoke a little bit about Manchester, so yeah.”

By your own admission you watch a lot of football, all of the time. Have you watched a lot of the Premier League?
“Yeah, for sure. I think the Premier League is the best league in the world. It’s really intensive, it’s very difficult, very physical also. Every game, I really want to watch.”
You played in Argentina, you played in the Netherlands. Very different styles of play, how excited are you to test yourself in the Premier League?
“I really like this challenge, you know? It’s like a mix. Because in Argentina, it’s like every game you have to fight, you know? I think Eredivisie is more about the football. But here, it’s everything, you know? Everything in one package. So yeah, very excited to play here in the Premier League.”

Have you seen much of United in recent seasons? Have you watched United a lot?
“Yeah, always. Every game from Manchester United is an important game, you know? As a player, I was always watching the games for Manchester United.”

The feeling around United right now is that we are capable of much more than we did last season. Are you excited to be part of that challenge, to lift us up again?
“Yeah, for sure. Now I can feel the fire, you know? I want to train right now, with the team. For sure we will work hard to put the club in the high levels.”

This move reunites you with Erik ten Hag, of course. When you were deciding your next move, how important was it for you that he was here?
“Well, I was with him three years at Ajax and I know his style of playing. With him, I improved a lot to be honest. He’s here in Manchester now, so again the opportunity was there and for sure he’s very important in my career."

How would you describe Erik as a coach? What stands out about him?
“Well, very intense, for sure. Good football. Winning mentality, you know? That’s the most important, yeah.”

He seems to be very clear about what he wants and he tells his players what he wants. How important is that, as a player?
"Well, every player needs to have things clear. I think he’s very clear also so I think with him every day you can learn and then in the game you can understand also fully – tactics and everything, so yeah.”

You said he helped you to improve. How did he help you improve?
"How we can understand fully the situations, the decisions inside the pitch. Yeah, he’s there in every detail.”

How different a player are you now, compared to when you joined Ajax?
“Now I feel with more experience, you know? I did 120 games in Ajax and I learn a lot, for sure. When I was in Ajax, my first year was when I was 21 years old and now I’m 24 so yeah, I learned a lot.”

How would you describe yourself as a player? What will you bring to United?
“I really like to help my team-mates, but every player – I want the best for everybody. If everybody is fit and everybody is good, then we can win, you know? Because we can win with 11 players if everyone is good, it will help with each other. This is one of my first points. Then I’m really aggressive, I love to win, you know? It’s all about winning. I’m a good friend, also. Yeah.”

You have a reputation as well as someone who trains really hard and makes everyone else around them train hard as well. Is that fair, is that something you’ll look to bring here?
“Yeah, for sure. Every day we have to give more than 100 per cent. There is not another option. It is just one option: train hard.”

You had three seasons with Ajax, champions constantly. So you come here and you’re a winner. Is that fair to say?
“Just I play like this. Football is all about winning. It’s all about it.”

You’re clearly very ambitious. Is it fair to say you want to pick up a lot more medals while you’re here?
“For sure. We will work very hard to win, yeah. It’s all about it.”

You’ve been in a club where you’ve won lots of titles, how do you build that?
“As a player, I left my house when I was 14 years old, so then you have to take responsibility on yourself. At 14 years old, you have to be a man. Then you have to fight for everything. You have to fight for food, you have to fight for your family, you have to fight for your team. Then you learn a lot: how hard life is. So yeah.”

Are you aware of the history of Argentina players at United? Players like Veron, Heinze, Tevez, Di Maria… have you seen all these players play for United?
“Yeah. Especially Gabriel Heinze. He’s my idol. It’s also very important to be here, because like you say he was playing here. This was one of my challenges, also.”

What did you like about Heinze?
“The tackles, the passes, the mentality.”

You will be the eighth Argentina player to play for United. Are you proud to fly the flag here?
“For sure, yeah. It’s amazing, you know? It’s amazing that I take the flag here to Manchester. I’m very proud of it.”

How big are United in Argentina these days?
“It’s very big. I can’t say but now I think many people know Manchester United because there is many good players, you know? The people for sure knows Manchester United are a big club. A really big club.”

It’s a big year for yourself. You’ve moved to United, there’s a World Cup coming this year. Does this feel like a really big year for you?
“For sure. It’s time to prepare, you know? To prepare everything. It’s time to do it.”

If someone had told you when you were a young boy in Argentina that you’d be playing for United, what would you have thought?
“No, no, because in the beginning not so many people believed in me. So yeah it’s difficult in Argentina, especially when you start. When you start to play football, it’s like you don’t think for sure. We believe in yourself but it’s difficult to take this step, you know, because it’s a big step. It’s not easy to think that at some point I’ll play for Manchester United. It’s difficult.”

Do you have a message for United fans? Anything you’d like to say to the supporters of the club?
"I will give my 100 per cent every game, every training. For sure, also the team, we will do it. We will play as a team and for sure I know the fans from Manchester United – I watch videos, when I watch a game, some opinions also and the fans from Manchester United are so crazy. But I like that passion because football is about it also.”

This weekend's Spanish friendly double-header will be shown live on the United App, MUTV and