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Martinez flattered by Barca interest

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 13 Jun 2012

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Athletic Bilbao’s Javi Martinez says he is flattered to have attracted interest from Barcelona, who he believes are the best club side in history.

A midfielder by trade, the 23-year-old was mainly played in central defence last season and was one of the standout performers as Marcelo Bielsa’s side reached two cup finals.

Martinez, who has a contract with the Basques until 2016 with a reported buy-out clause of 40 million euros, said he was only concentrating on doing well for Spain at Euro 2012, but admitted he was pleased to be linked with the Catalan giants.

“Whenever there is interest from teams, it is a reflection of who are doing things right,” he told Catalan daily Sport.

“It is true that everyone is excited when people talk about you, that teams are interested, but right now it would be selfish to think about anything but the national team.

“We have to think about the Euros, we cannot let ourselves get distracted from what we really want, which is doing well in the tournament.”

Martinez lauded the qualities of Pep Guardiola’s former side, saying the Barca side of the past four years will probably go down as the best club team in history.

“The football that (Barcelona) have played these last few years has been spectacular. For those of us who like football, they have been an example,” he said.

“We have enjoyed them a lot, they have been one of the best – why not say it? The best team in the history of football.

“Any interest of this type is flattering and not only coming from Barca. That the world’s best teams think you can help them is something stimulating.”

Martinez was an unused substitute in Spain’s Euro 2012 opener against Italy, which finished a 1-1 draw.

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