Bayern Munich's Javi Martinez has paid tribute to his compatriot Marco Asensio following a stellar breakthrough year. The Real Madrid midfielder has enjoyed a huge rise to the top over the space of the last year, and Martinez reckons he can become the greatest on the planet over the course of the next one.
He's scored in a Champions League final, made his Spain debut and lifted La Liga. The kind of story that exists only as the fourth instalment of the 'Goal' film franchise. Asensio has done it all - except win a Ballon d'Or.
However, given his speedy ascension in the game in such a short amount of time Javi Martinez doesn't seem to think he's all too far away from being the very best on the planet:
“Asensio is the best young talent in European football, in my opinion,” said Martinez, talking to Goal.
“It’s amazing to watch but most importantly he always delivers and performs well in big games. We’ve seen him this year but he will become one of the world’s greatest players next year, perhaps even the best. It depends on him.”
Not exactly a bad compliment from such a decorated player as Martinez. The former Bilbao midfielder has won Bundesliga titles, the Champions League, and has even lifted the World Cup trophy - but while there's a chance of him going to Russia this summer, not many are holding their breath.
Martinez didn't make the cut for Julen Lopetegui’s Spain squad for these latest set of friendlies, and hasn't represented his country since 2014.