Bayern Munich’s Javi Martinez has compared his midfield partner Bastian Schweinsteiger to a ‘bull’ and labelled him a ‘force of nature’.
The pair have been one of the driving forces behind the Bavarians’ success this season, helping to clinch the Bundesliga title earlier than any other side in German footballing history.
The club are now in pursuit of a treble of major trophies having reached the semi-finals of the Champions League, where they will face Barcelona, and demolishing Wolfsburg 6-1 to book their place in the DFB Pokal final.
And Martinez believes Schweinsteiger’s impact has been crucial in both his own transition to life with FCB and the club’s charge for honours.
“It is a great pleasure to play for his side,” he told Spox.com.
“He helped me in my initial stage an immense amount, in terms of positioning in the midfield for example. He is a bull, a force of nature. He helps the team defensively as much as he does offensively. He is a strong personality as well – just like Philipp Lahm.”
The Spain international also talked about his relationship with a number of Barcelona players, but insisted they would be nothing more than mere opponents for the duration of their European encounter.
“I met Xavi and David Villa at a recent event, but that was before the draw,” he added.
“I have good contact with the guys from Barca, but it applies as always, for 180 minutes I am not interested in friendship, but only the next round.”
The two sides clash on April 23, with the first leg to be played at Bayern’s Allianz Arena home.