Bayern smash Bundesliga transfer record for Spanish 'Kaiser'

style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; font-weight: 600;"Sat 1st Sep, 2012

Bayern Munich smashed the Bundesliga transfer record and completed a long-running saga this week as former Athletic Bilbao star Javi Martinez finally put pen to paper to finalise a EUR40 million move.

Whilst the astronomic fee is sure to raise eyebrows in some quarters, Bayern President Uli Hoeneß has quickly defended the outlay saying: "If you're thinking of a specific position and search the whole of Europe, and you keep coming back to the same two or three players, you have to make a call at some point".

Spain national team coach Vincent Del Bosque went a step further stating: "As a footballer, it's fair to compare him with former world-class star Patrick Vieira. He's a born leader and a complete player. I can only congratulate Bayern".

Strong, technically gifted and good in the air Javi Martinez can play in central midfield or at centre back. He is already a European and World champion yet continues to be described as a player with raw potential.

Even at 23 the player known in Spain as 'the Kaiser' is no stranger to big money moves having been signed by Bilbao from Osasuna in 2006 for EUR6 million at just 17 years of age before going on to make 35 full team appearances in his first top-flight season.

The midfielder quickly became a fixture in the starting line-up, at the same time rapidly working his way through the Spanish youth ranks to make his first senior national team appearance in May 2010 in South Africa, a year in which he would also go on to claim the coveted Young Player of the Year award in Spain.

Already experienced for his age Martinez never made fewer than 30 appearances a season in his time at Bilbao, racking up an impressive 201 appearances and scoring 23 goals.

He leaves the club having led them to a UEFA Cup final in his last season though he had to make do with second place as the Basques succumbed 3-0 to Atletico Madrid.

This season Martinez can look forward to making his Champion's League debut for Bayern whose fans could see 'the next Viera' in action as early as this Sunday against derby opponents VfB Stuttgart.


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