Inter’s young Argentinian Lautaro Martinez is a very desirable figure at this time and place; wanted by both Real Madrid and Barcelona, which Spanish outfit is the better fit for the striker?
At Inter Milan, Lautaro Martinez has sizzled under Antonio Conte, solidifying him as one of the better young players in Europe. This notable talent is always sure to grab the attention of the two greatest clubs of La LIga; Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Both teams are cloaked in remarkable legacy and tradition; both have rich coffers and amazingly talented players. The consistency of their respective domination is remarkable to witness as a fan of the game; obtaining Lautaro Martinez would be another example of the “rich getting richer” but there are caveats.
Who uses Martinez to his best potential? Whose system does he fit into most suitably, and whose players can accentuate him in the aforementioned system?
Real Madrid have achieved remarkable results in the Champions League under Zinedine Zidane; they have far outstripped Barcelona since Pep Guardiola left for Germany. Zidane is capable of pushing talent to higher levels, and can do it in less than perfect circumstances as his second stint is demonstrating. It appears that he enjoys coaching at Madrid, and that Madrid are resigned that he is the best fit by all reasonable considerations.
Los Blancos have achieved less remarkably in La Liga under his administration(s) but that is not to say they’ve not accomplished notable feats. Domestically, they simply haven’t been to Barcelona’s standards, as Barcelona have not been to Madrid’s European standards.
While Madrid has the recent European pedigree and coaching staff, their roster is in turnover and different, sometimes younger players, are shooting to the forefront. Vinicius Junior, Marco Asensio, Isco and Eden Hazard, will see Luka Modric, Gareth Bale, Kareem Benzema and others out the door after remarkable careers with the program.
The youth of Madrid is promising, and that group could make greater strides with a player of Lautaro Martinez’s caliber, without question. On the other hand, is it enough? Even with respect to the young talent I am leaving out, is the support system there?
It can and will be built surely, but is it as attractive as what Barcelona offers? While the managing aspect has to go to Madrid, along with the European ambition, the production and players might be tilted towards the Catalonian giants.
Barcelona has gone through managers at a rapid rate since Pep Guardiola left his beloved outfit; the main constant remains Lionel Messi. Lionel Messi is a remarkable player and, the compatriot of Lautaro Martinez. The opportunity to play with Messi at the club level is likely too remarkable an opportunity to pass up.
Messi is a genius, and he knows how to put his teammates into positions to succeed when they can comprehend his style. As a genius, few can comprehend that style unless a manager of similar ilk can act as interface between the two parties. Unfortunately, Barcelona simply moves through semi successful La Liga mangers who can never incorporate their own system into the tiki-taka style famously utilized by this team.
In La Liga, the team is a perennial Juggernaut, with Messi routinely making mincemeat out of the majority of the clubs opposition. While the team has struggled in Europe comparatively speaking, this may not be the biggest blemish against the club. For Barcelona, they have suffered since Neymar Jr. left for Paris; more force, more genius, more attacking prowess needs to help Lionel Messi more than ever before.
Luckily at the Camp Nou, plenty of young talent exists all over the pitch, alongside the veterans; Ousmane Dembele, Frenkie de Jong, Junior Firpo and Clement Lenglet all standout but there are more to spare coming up through the ranks. Adding Lautaro Martinez to all of those factors could be a spell for success for both player and club; all that is missing is the manager to lead the club; Luis Suarez has himself invited the chance to play alongside the young man. Who ultimately suits Lautaro Martinez better in the final analysis? Real Madrid, Or Barcelona?
The Conclusion? Barcelona over Madrid
Barcelona feels closer, if only by a hair, to dominance than Real Madrid. Why? Because if Barcelona can find a manager to organize the club while playing suitable football for all the involved parties, the club could sweep a campaign away.
Adding Lautaro Martinez to that could be exciting not only for Messi, not only for Martinez, but for a player like Ousmane Dembele. A young attack of such a caliber could mean a rapid development for the young Frenchman, alongside the young Argentinian.
Playing with Lionel Messi is not only an opportunity to win, but an opportunity to learn at an increasingly high level; it is like painting alongside Renoir in many ways.
Meanwhile, Madrid has the success of Zidane to thank for only losing this hypothetical race by a hair. His skill as a skipper, questioned when he left the club and then returned, should be in little doubt with this current campaign on hold. His handling of a strange season, in which injury has hampered his biggest Summer signing have been admirable and the team he is building should be contending for years to come.
The real separation lies in how quickly this endeavor becomes plausible, not if it does. To this end, either choice would likely benefit the career of Lautaro Martinez, I simply feel that with the aforementioned points, Barcelona may offer the greater immediate opportunity, should their managerial issue become sorted out.
Even if it doesn’t, the allure of playing beside Messi may ultimately lure Martinez to the Blaugrana. It is hard to resist the call of the famous Barcelona, especially while a living legend walks the pitch.