Manchester United signing Lisandro Martinez says he became the player he is from a tough upbringing in Argentina, where he learned to fight for everything he had.
The 24-year-old has arrived from Ajax on a five-year deal, with the Red Devils paying an initial fee of around £48m, which could well rise to over £56m with add-ons.
The Argentina international is expected to play at centre-back, but can slot into midfield and capable to fill in at full-back as well, with Erik ten Hag knowing all about his abilities thanks to their time together in the Eredivisie.
Martinez will be a new face to a lot of Premier League supporters, but with a nickname like ‘The Butcher of Amsterdam’ he comes with a feisty reputation.
The new signing explains that he has always been prepared to fight on and off the field, which was a necessity back at home.
‘Our culture is a lot of passion,’ Martinez told the Manchester United website. ‘Especially in football. 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.’
Martinez has promised United fans and his new teammates that they can expect plenty of hard work from him, and he is already impressed by the supporters at the club.
‘I will give my 100 per cent every game, in every training [session],’ he said. ‘For sure, also the team, we will do it. We will play as a team.
‘For sure, I know the fans from Manchester United – I watch videos, and when I watch a game, and some opinions also, the fans from Manchester United are so passionate. But I like that passion, because football is about it also.’