Dani Martín played a prominent role last Friday in Valladolid. The meta signed several stops of merit and contributed to Malaga adding a meritorious point in Zorrilla. Little by little, the echoes of the debate generated by José Alberto’s decision to place him as headline to the detriment of Dani Barrio, are dissipating. In an interview with BE Malaga, the goalkeeper accepts the debate with sportsmanship and acknowledges that the Asturian coach, with whom he already met at Sporting, was decisive for his landing at La Rosaleda.
“As soon as the news came out that the coach had signed for Málaga I received his call to know how his knee was and that he expected me to come with him to Malaga. I had more options, but I saw the opportunity here. It is a great club, The coach gave me a lot of confidence, I already knew him, I knew what he wanted and that attracted me a lot to come to Malaga. Betis wanted some clauses that I did not see, I was clear that if things were done well here, I would have opportunities. Betis wanted some things, Malaga did not see it, other teams got involved, but I was very clear that I wanted to come to Malaga and in the end it could be, “he said.
Dani Barrio was chosen to start the season while Dani Martín tried to get physically fit after two serious ankle and knee injuries. As soon as José Alberto saw him ready to give him the alternative, he included him in the eleven. The current starting goalkeeper acknowledges that he did not expect to take over the position so soon: “During the week of that first game the coach had said something to me and you can smell it, but I did not expect that he would have given me the opportunity so soon. I thought it would take longer because Dani (Barrio) was doing well. When I saw myself in the starting eleven I got on my nerves a bit, but everything went well and luckily we got all three points ”.
His debut as a Blue and White against Girona on Matchday 5 was a very special day for the goalkeeper, who could not hold back his tears at the end of the match. “It is very difficult to express what I felt. Dfter a year and two months without touching a pitch, when you come back, apart from your nerves, the sensations you have on the pitch … the tension had to come from somewhere. It had been a long time since I played with people, training is not the same as playing a game. When the referee whistled for the end I felt very liberated, remembering everything I suffered to be here again, took my emotions away. It is something beautiful that I will have there for a lifetime”, He recalled.
A week later, in Ponferrada, he did not have a good performance, which fueled the debate around the goal: “It is normal that there is debate. There always is, in any position. If there was no debate it would be weirdIt would be that things would be going very well, that we would go first and without conceding goals. Things are not like that. So it’s normal and I see it well, always with respect, of course. The debate makes us try harder, always give our best, in the end this is football. Dani Barrio and I are practically from the same neighborhood in Gijón, we get along very well, we have a very good relationship and we want the best for each other. When we fail or in anything we have doubts about, we talk about it and ask ourselves. We do not have any problem”.
The injuries were definitely left behind, but the discomfort, although they do not prevent him from performing at one hundred percent, have not completely diminished: “I finish the games a bit annoying on the knee, in the end it was not so long ago that I had surgery, ten months ago now. When hitting, when I want to hit very hard, the knee does not allow me to do the gesture well and it bothers me a bit, but nothing that prevents me from doing anything. It is normal, there is no problem. When I started training, when I arrived in Malaga, I had to do a lot of gym training to regain strength. Now I don’t need a lot of gym, my lower body strength is very good. I’m very happy with how things are going with the knee.
As for sports, Dani Martín is ambitious but refuses to look beyond the next matches. In his opinion, it is the competition that should be dictating the sentence on what will be the final objective of Malaga: “I have come for the maximum that can be removed from the team, if in the end it is to promote, it will be tried. But there is so much left. Second is very long and you have to go game by game. This week we have Zaragoza, we must get the three points to continue Trying to fight to get into the higher positions. Continuity in case of promotion? It’s hard for me to think that. There are so many days left and so much to play that I prefer to think about Zaragoza, win that game and when the end of the season comes, think if we are going to move up or not and think if I would like to stay or not. Logically, this is an incredible city and a spectacular team. If I feel comfortable here, then I would love to stay”.
Of course, there was no shortage of words of thanks and praise for the Blue and White fans: “The fans make you feel Malaga from day one, it helps you a lot. I come from Sporting and Betis and the fans here are incredible. It’s amazing. You are surprised”.