Iñigo Martinez Left Out Of Spain Squad Due To Injury, Will Play For Euskal Selekzioa

Inigo Martinez

“We were aware of his [Martinez’s] condition – Luis Enrique (RFEF)

Iñigo Martinez has taken a big step forward in his career since making the move to Athletic Club last January. The defender has been playing the best football of his life and Spain manager Luis Enrique has taken notice. Martinez was called up to the National Team during the previous international break, but was left off this time and now drama has followed.

After being injured against Barcelona on 29 September, Enrique made the decision not to include Martinez in the Spain squad for the current international break. However, the defender was able to start and play the whole match against Real Sociedad on 5 October which has led to some claiming that his injury was used as an excuse to get out of playing for Spain over these two weeks. The Spain manager has since tried to put an end to that speculation.

“We were aware of his condition.”, said Enrique in a recent press conference. “It was a local Derby. It’s a special game and he and the club decided to take the risk. However, that isn’t a risk that I’m prepared to take. It’s a strange situation, but ultimately the players knows his own fitness level and is the one that decides. I feel that is the right thing.”

Inigo Martinez

Martinez trains at Lezama (MD)

To put things into perspective, when Martinez was called up during the previous break he had just recovered from a calf injury that had sidelined him the entire preseason. He then went on to injure himself again during training with Spain. Despite the speculation by some, it was good to see Enrique make it clear that he was well aware of the injury situation and chose not to risk the player when making his selection.

Late Thursday afternoon Martinez took to social media to have his say on the matter. The defender tweeted the following to make things clear: “Let no one have any doubt that, since always, I have been fully committed to the Selection and I will continue to work hard to be in future calls. Everything has been a misunderstanding between the medical teams. Nothing else.”

As always, the most important thing is a player’s health. Iñigo Martinez is fully fit now and was named to the Basque Country National Team squad on Wednesday. The 27-year-old will represent Euskal Selekzioa on Friday when they host Venezuela at Mendizorrotza. Fellow Athletic Club players Aritz Aduriz, Dani García, Yuri Berchiche, and Iñaki Williams were also called up for the match.

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