Lautaro Martinez reveals inspiration behind Champions League heroics

‘If the group is united, things become easier’: Lautaro Martinez reveals World Cup inspiration behind his Champions League heroics after guiding Inter Milan to Istanbul final

  • Lautaro Martinez claimed ‘things become easier’ when the team pulls together 
  • Martinez added to first leg goals from Edin Dzeko and Henrikh Mkhitaryan 
  • Inter vice-president Javier Zanetti insists he WANTS to play Man City  in the final 

Lautaro Martinez has lifted the lid on how he managed to inspire Inter to victory over AC Milan in the Champions League semi-final second leg – and the win that taught him the importance of ‘unity’.

The Argentine forward scored the only goal of the otherwise lack-lustre clash in Milan between the Nerazzurri and their arch rivals. 

Strikes from former Premier League stars Edin Dzeko and Henrikj Mkhitaryan – who went off injured early on Tuesday – gave Inter a 2-0 lead heading into the return at the San Siro, before Martinez completed the 3-0 aggregate win.

Martinez revealed after the game however that it was his World Cup triumph in Qatar in December that gave him the belief that  his side could see off their nemesis in the last-four. 

The 25-year-old told Sky Sport Italia that he understood the importance of keeping the side together, and that ‘unity’ would help his side pull through and guide them to the showpiece final. 

Lautaro Martinez scored the only goal of the Champions League semi-final second leg

The 25-year-old’s strike sealed a 3-0 aggregate win to put Inter Milan into the Champions League final

The forward was part of the World Cup-winning Argentina side that beat France in December

‘Before the game, I told the guys: “We’ve done a great job.” The team’s unity is the most important thing. I saw it at the World Cup,’ he said. 

‘If the group is united and goes in the same direction, things become easier. Inter deserve to win these nights. We always work to improve and I want to give my best.

‘After the World Cup, we knew we had another chance to reach the final and here we are. Whoever the opponent is, it will be the last game, we have arrived here and want to go as high as possible.’

It has been a trophy-laden season for Martinez, who will now play for the right to add a European club title to his World Cup winners’ medal. 

As well as lifting the trophy in Qatar alongside Lionel Messi, Martinez was part of the Inter side to win the Supercoppa Italiana in January – again beating AC Milan 3-0.

Moreover, although the Serie A title has already gone to Napoli, the Nerazzurri will take on Fiorentina in the Coppa Italia final next week, in a bid to add a second domestic cup to their cabinet. 

Martinez will be looking to add to his impressive haul of 25 goals for his club so far this season, currently sat just three behind Napoli’s Victor Osimhen in the race for Serie A’s golden boot on 20 league goals. 

And although they will likely go into that clash as favourites, they are perhaps outside contenders for the Champions League despite their convincing win over AC Milan. 

Martinez has already scored 25 goals this season and his side will meet either Manchester City or Real Madrid in the final in June

Vinicius Jr celebrates opening the scoring against Manchester City with a wonder strike 

Kevin De Bruyne scored a long-range screamer in Man City’s clash with Real Madrid

The other semi-final clash sees the record winners – and holders – Real Madrid take on the favourites Manchester City, led by serial record-breaker Erling Haaland. 

The two sides met last week at the Santiago Bernabeu, with Kevin De Bruyne’s second half stunner cancelling out a first have thunderbolt from Vinicius Jnr. 

As a result, the tie is left delicately balanced with the return leg at the Etihad taking place on Wednesday evening. 

The winner will meet Inter in the showpiece final in Istanbul on June 10. 

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