The 'Bandit of Bilbao': Javi Martinez Rubbishes Rumours of Athletic Bilbao Break-In

Publish date:

A story of a drunken professional footballer breaking into his former employer's training ground at 2:00 a.m. in order to raid "a particular locker containing prized possession", sounds too good to be true...and that's because, unfortunately (according to Javi Martinez) it is. 

The reported culprit of this hilarious crime was Bayern Munich and Spanish superstar Javi Martinez, who in his recent Player's Tribune article, revealed that the events reported by Marca were almost wholly fabricated: 

"Almost every other part of this funny little crime caper, as told by certain Spanish newspapers at the time is wrong. It makes me laugh thinking about it now, years later."


In the article, the 29-year-old central midfielder explains that the story was simply massively aggrandized by Spanish media outlets. Martinez writes that after the completion of his €40m move to Bayern Munich in the summer of 2012, he was refused entry to the club's training facilities where he had left a number of belongings: 

"They wouldn’t let me go before training because they thought it might create some bad vibes. That’s fair enough — I had no problem with that at all. But my boots were still in there, and my laptop and my clothes. Everything was still in my locker," stated Martinez.


"I had been in the city during the day, so at around 9:30 or so (not 2 a.m.), I went there to pick up all my stuff. I rang the bell for security to open for about 15 minutes, but no one came. There was some construction work being done at the time, so I guess the bell wasn’t working. I called the team manager, but he didn’t pick up his phone. I knew from my years at Lezama that there was another access point, closer to the changing rooms, so I walked over there, calling for the security guard, Iker, to let me in.

"He came out, opened up and let me in. I picked up the stuff and left. And that … was it. Nothing else happened." 

Looking back on the reports, the Spanish international sees the humour in the whole event, writing that it will be "quite funny" when his grandchildren Google his name in year's to come and find the a story of the Grandparent with the title: 'Javi Martinez, the Bandit of Bilbao'.

"When my grandchildren google my name someday, 40 or 50 years from now, what will they learn? Perhaps they will read the crazy newspaper stories about their grandpa, the bandit of Bilbao. That would be quite funny, actually."