Lautaro Martinez explains poor World Cup form as he played through pain barrier for Argentina
- Martinez reveals reason behind poor World Cup form
- Suffered ankle injury
- Started in only two matches
WHAT HAPPENED? The Inter forward clocked 238 minutes during the 2022 World Cup and started in only two matches owing to excruciating ankle pain. He also revealed how Lionel Messi advised him to focus on recovering from the injury during the course of the tournament.
WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to ESPN, Martinez said: "When I arrived at the World Cup, I couldn’t even kick the ball, as my ankle was in unbearable agony. I was very happy to see Julian’s extraordinary form because he was able to give the squad something that at that moment I could not.
"At a certain point, Leo Messi came over and told me to focus on recovering, because I would be very useful to the team in the final minutes of games. I already felt that ankle pain when playing for Inter and I told the coach clearly what the situation was, so I asked to rest in order to prepare for the first group game. I played against Saudi Arabia with the aid of pain-killing injections, but I still couldn’t train regularly."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Since the season resumed in Italy after the World Cup, Martinez has scored seven times in eight games including a strike in Inter's 3-0 win over AC Milan in the Supercoppa Italiana final.
IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT FOR INTER? Simone Inzaghi's side next take on Sampdoria in a Serie A clash on February 13.