Iñigo Martinez Shines in Barcelona’s Defense
By C. Navarro
Updated on October 31, 2023 – 19:04 CET
Iñigo Martinez has made a powerful impact on Barcelona’s starting lineup. Despite not being able to participate in the preseason due to a recent operation on his right fascia, Martinez has demonstrated his full recovery and sparked a debate about the team’s defensive axis. With Koundé back from injury, Christensen and Iñigo Martinez in their best form, and Araujo’s untouchable performance, Xavi faces a delightful dilemma.
Xavi took a chance on Iñigo Martinez in the starting eleven against his former club, Athletic, on October 22nd, and the defender’s performance was outstanding, leading to three consecutive starts. However, the situation has changed now. Koundé has returned and is available for the upcoming Classic match after a month-long absence. Xavi must decide whether to stick with the expected partnership of Koundé and Araujo or maintain Iñigo Martinez in the lineup.
It’s important to note that Iñigo Martinez played in a more advanced position during the Classic, with Araujo filling in at right back. This tactical adjustment was specifically aimed at neutralizing Vinicius. Against Real Sociedad, it is likely that the Portuguese player will return to his defensive role, leaving Xavi with the task of choosing Martinez’s partner in the center, where Araujo seems to be the only undisputed choice.
Christensen is also making it difficult for Xavi to make a decision. The Danish defender has started in 11 out of the 12 matches he has played this season across all competitions, delivering consistent performances.