Lautaro Martinez credits Conte and new formation for dazzling Inter form

By Sports Desk December 04, 2019

Lautaro Martinez is delighted to be delivering success for Inter and says the arrivals of Antonio Conte, Romelu Lukaku and a new system have inspired his outstanding form.

Argentina international Martinez has scored 13 goals in 19 games across all competitions for the Nerazzurri this season, already trumping his tally of nine strikes in his debut 2018-19 campaign.

The 22-year-old's goals have fired Inter to the top of Serie A, a point clear of Juventus after 14 matches.

Martinez came into the campaign full of confidence after netting twice at the Copa America, yet he suggests life back at Inter would still have been tough had Luciano Spalletti remained at the helm, preferring a formation with a lone striker.

Instead, Spalletti and captain Mauro Icardi departed, seeing new coach Conte install a 3-5-2 line-up that brings the best out of both Martinez and Lukaku, who has 11 goals in 18 games.

"Last year, I played in a team with a coach who played with only one striker in attack," Martinez told Sky Sport Italia.

"I knew that in front of me there was the captain, Icardi, the most important player for Inter, and obviously it was very complicated for me to play.

"I always trained to the maximum, but I knew it was like that. I had the chance to play a few minutes but not like I would play now.

"This year, I had a great Copa America, then I met Conte, who works at high intensity and treats all players in the same way. This makes everyone train to the maximum.

"Then there is Romelu, who is a great person on and off the pitch. We are working hard to follow the coach's instructions and take Inter to the top."

Martinez has been linked with Barcelona and Manchester City in recent weeks but described his happiness at San Siro.

"Inter is my home. That's something very important for me," he said.

"I try to work hard and prove with humility on the pitch that I deserve to wear this shirt. I want to bring as much joy as possible to the Nerazzurri fans and my family."

Related items

  • Kaka picks 'genius' Lionel Messi over Cristiano Ronaldo Kaka picks 'genius' Lionel Messi over Cristiano Ronaldo

    Kaka labelled Lionel Messi a "genius" as he picked the Barcelona superstar over Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo.

    Messi – winner of a record six Ballons d'Or – and Ronaldo are regarded as two of the greatest ever players, with debate often centred on who stands alone atop the all-time list.

    Kaka played alongside Ronaldo at Real Madrid, but the 2007 Ballon d'Or winner selected Messi as his preferred choice.

    "I played with Cristiano and he's really amazing, but I'll go with Messi," Kaka said when asked who he would pick out of Messi or Ronaldo during an Instagram Live Q&A for FIFA's channel.

    "He's a genius, a pure talent. The way he plays is incredible."

    But on five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo, Kaka added: "Cristiano is a machine. It's not just the way he's strong, powerful and fast; he's strong mentally.

    "He always wants to win and play. To be the best. For me, that's the most incredible thing he has.

    "In the history of sport, they [Messi and Cristiano] are definitely in the top five. We are very lucky to have been able to see both of them."

  • Barca should prioritise reuniting Neymar with Messi over signing Martinez – Rivaldo Barca should prioritise reuniting Neymar with Messi over signing Martinez – Rivaldo

    Barcelona should prioritise re-signing Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain over bringing Lautaro Martinez to Camp Nou, insisted former star Rivaldo.

    LaLiga champions Barca tried to lure Neymar back to the club following his world-record €222million move to PSG in 2017, however, a deal did not materialise at the start of the season.

    Barca are also reportedly determined to sign Inter's star forward Martinez as they eye a long-term replacement for veteran Luis Suarez.

    Rivaldo – who won a pair of LaLiga titles during his time with the Catalan giants – believes Neymar is ready to lead Barca alongside six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi.

    "The rumours are growing about Barcelona's intention to sign Neymar and Lautaro Martinez in the next transfer window," Rivaldo wrote in his column for Betfair.

    "Although the young Argentinian is a good player, I think that only Neymar is a certain bet to claim a place in the starting XI side by side with Messi.

    "Looking at the last few years we have seen many valuable players who didn't manage to play alongside Messi - failing to perform under the expectations.

    "But Neymar - like Luis Suarez - is one of the few players in the world that doesn't feel pressure on the pitch, always playing with plenty of personality.

    "He never gets frightened and it would be a safe option for the club while Martinez is a young, talented forward that perhaps in two or three years may become a good signing.

    "For now I think the club should prioritise Neymar. I'm a fan of his qualities and personality and I know that sometimes I'm liable to criticism as some Barcelona fans didn't like the way Neymar decided to leave the club.

    "But the truth is that he is a different player now who should be a nice help to Messi and co. in trying to win another Champions League."

  • Coronavirus: Serie A won't resume until it's safe Coronavirus: Serie A won't resume until it's safe

    The 2019-20 Serie A season will not resume until "health conditions allow it" amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    Serie A was suspended indefinitely last month with Italy hit hard by COVID-19 – more than 14,600 of the global deaths, which has exceeded 58,800, coming from the European country.

    Returning at the end of May had been an initial target but those plans have been scrapped following Friday's meeting between Lega Serie A and the Italian Players' Association (AIC).

    "The Lega Serie A assembly meeting took place this afternoon, with all 20 clubs present via video conference," the statement read.

    "The position that emerged from talks between UEFA, ECA and the European Leagues held yesterday was represented at the meeting.

    "With regards to the possible completion of the remaining Serie A and Coppa Italia matches, Lega Serie A will only consider the resumption of sporting activity when health conditions allow it, adhering, as it has always done, to government decrees and taking into primary consideration the protection of the health of the players and all those involved.

    "In facing the different scenarios, which are still uncertain, Lega Serie A - with the participation of club representatives - will continue to analyse the impact and consequences of COVID-19 on medical, economic, regulatory, sporting and risk-assessment levels for the clubs and Lega Serie A itself in the coming days."

    Defending champions Juventus were one point clear of Lazio through 26 matches when the league was suspended.

    The last Serie A match took place on March 9, with Sassuolo accounting for Brescia 3-0.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.