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Lautaro Martinez: I played in World Cup and Champions League thanks to painkillers

Inter star Lautaro Martinez has revealed that he played in the World Cup and the Champions League Final with painkillers.

Martinez managed to score 28 goals and provided 11 assists in 57 competitive games for Inter as they reached the Champions League final last season. He also was part of the Argentina team that won the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

In an interview with Star+, Martinez revealed that he played most of the last season thanks to painkillers.

“I played the first few months of the season with an ankle problem. but because Romelu Lukaku and Tucu Correa were injured, I could not stop. I was the only striker, so I played thanks to painkillers, both pills and injections,” Lautaro Martinez said.

He added: “I was in so much pain in the opening World Cup match with Saudi Arabia, and then against Mexico too, I simply couldn’t do any more.

“All the way up until just before the Champions League Final, I took medication that allowed me to play. The pain meant I could not train, I could not kick the ball with the foot flexed. At times, just some movement made me see stars.

“I did not give in, but eventually it became impossible, I dealt with it by closing up, crying alone in my room. I had to get my family and my daughter to visit often, as I needed their presence and affection.

“It was really tough, because I was the top scorer of Lionel Scaloni’s team before that World Cup and people expected a lot from me.”

Lautaro Martinez also explained why he asked his Argentinian teammate Gonzalo Montiel to let him take his penalty in the final against France.

“I was meant to be the last up in the Final. just as I was with the Netherlands, while Montiel was fourth up. As we were walking over, Montiel was crying, the coach kept asking him if he was ok.

Seeing as Dibu Martinez had already saved one, I asked him to let me take the fourth. I started walking and he shook his head no. I would’ve gladly kicked him!

Maybe he just hoped I would miss so we would have to reach the fifth…”

Sam Barton
Sam Barton
Sam Barton fell in love with football during the 98 World Cup and has been fascinated by it ever since. The tactical side of the game is what truly inspires him to think, read and write about football, making him the ideal football writer.
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