In each Inter Milan match, Lautaro Martinez does his number: the Argentinian, captain of the leader of the Italian Championship who hosts Benfica on Tuesday (8:00 p.m.) in the Champions League, has already scored ten goals in eight matches, including a quadruplet in 35 minutes on Saturday.
At only 26 years old, Martinez has already made Serie A history: by stunning Salernitana (4-0) on the 7th day, the 1.74m striker, who came on in the 55th minute , became the first substitute to score a quadruplet.
And it’s perhaps not over, since at this rate, he can aim for the record of 36 goals in a Serie A season, co-held by his compatriot Gonzalo Higuain (2015-16, Naples) and the Italian Ciro Immobile (2019-20, Lazio).
But the 2022 world champion who also scored two goals with Argentina during the qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup in September and a goal in C1 during the draw against Real Sociedad (1-1), assures that he does not think about record, nor even the trophy for top scorer of the season.
“It’s important when you’re an attacker to score goals, but I think above all about the team: if I were to finish top scorer in the championship, it would above all mean that I helped my team and my teammates,” he said. he insisted.
Last season, his association with Romelu Lukaku sparked (21 goals in the league, equaled personal record) and led Inter to the final of the Champions League (1-0 defeat against Manchester City).
“Even more leader”
For his sixth season in the Inter jersey, the Argentinian has a new partner in attack, French international Marcus Thuram, already the author of four assists since his arrival from Mönchengladbach.
“We work for each other, we want to progress. He is someone who has a lot of possibilities and who works a lot,” admitted the “Toro”.
With his nine goals in the league, he does better than established “serial-scorers” like Erling Haaland (8 goals with Manchester City), Kylian Mbappé (7 with PSG) or Jude Bellingham (6 with Real Madrid).
Alone in the five major European championships, the Guinean sensation from Stuttgart, Serhou Guirassy, does better than the Argentinian with ten goals in six days.
For Simone Inzaghi, it is also because he became captain of Inter this season after the end of Samir Handanovic’s career that Lautaro Martinez is so effective.
“He has always worked a lot, but he feels, now that he has this captain’s armband, even more of a leader,” said the Inter coach.
We are far from the criticisms made by his first coach at Inter, Luciano Spalletti, Italian champion at the helm of Naples last season and now coach of the Nazionale, who criticized the 20-year-old striker who had barely arrived in 2018 from Argentina for 25 million euros for his too many lost balloons.
While he extended his contract until 2026 in 2021, the Argentinian arouses a lot of interest every summer, but remains for the moment in Serie A, to the great pleasure of former Italian international Roberto Boninsegna.
“He is an exceptional player, intelligent, lively, who immediately takes advantage of the slightest mistake,” he summarized, to present him to the Benfica defenders who would have the misfortune of not knowing the “Toro”.