After nine years at FC Bayern, Javi Martínez left the German record champions last summer and joined first division club Qatar SC. The Spaniard not only has good memories of his time in Munich – which is also due to the training methods of ex-coach Niko Kovac.
“Under Niko Kovac we always had to ride our bikes for 40 minutes before and after each training session,” Martínez recalled in a Twitch stream with journalist Gerard Romero.
The long pedaling on the bike was not well received by the teammates either. “It got to a point where we were all no longer sure whether we were actually preparing for the league or the Tour de France,” said the 33-year-old veteran.
During Kovac’s tenure at Bayern, there was repeated criticism of the training methods of the then trainer. The players are said to have missed clear structures and approaches, reported the “kicker”, for example.
Martínez switched from Athletic Bilbao to FC Bayern in 2012 for the then record transfer fee of 40 million euros.
Javi Martínez as the flagship of the Qatar Stars League
The Spanish world and European champion played 268 competitive games for the German industry leader, scoring 14 goals. He won 23 titles with Bayern, including two Champions Leagues and nine league titles.
At Bayern, Kovac and Martínez worked together for around a year and a half. However, the midfielder was rarely used under the Croatian.
In the Qatar Stars League, Martínez is one of the few professionals who actually give the league its shine. He is the undisputed figurehead at his new club Qatar SC. The defensive specialist has scored two goals in 16 games.