Currently a Belgian (Courtois) and a German (Ter Stegen) occupy the goals of Real Madrid and Barcelona. But there was a time, not too long ago, when The two clubs shared the league titles with two Spanish goalkeepers under clubs (Iker Casillas and Víctor Valdés). It also coincided with the golden age of the National Team, with that sequence of titles Euro-World-Euro-Cup with Casillas as captain. And with Valdés, despite his hierarchy at Barça, accepting his role in the National Team.
This made many children born in the 21st century want to be gatekeepers. One of them is Iván Martínez (Ágreda, Soria, 2002), one of the great promises of the Osasuna youth team who grew up watching Casillas and Valdés play. They became his two great references and he set out to be one day like them.
Lets start by the beginning. Iván began to play in Ágreda, his town, alternating the games under sticks with others in which he tried to be the one who scored the goals. There was something decisive for him to make the final decision: his father was a goalkeeping coach. Thus, with eleven years, he signed for Tudelano, who at that time was a subsidiary of Osasuna. In Pamplona, however, they soon realized that there was a special talent there and They signed a pre-agreement for him to enter Osasuna as a first-year child.
Julen Guerrero, the U-15 and U-16 coach, said in a recent interview in this newspaper that modest clubs should make their youth squads see that, if they stay, they will have an easier time reaching the first team. Precisely that they did in Osasuna and that is why Martínez, despite having more offers, moved to Pamplona.
He surrendered on the grass and in the red club they kept their word: he always took steps ahead of his age. Being a first-year Infant he played with Infant A, in a second-year Infant he made the leap to Cadet A, in a first-year Cadet he passed to Juvenile A and in the two years he has been a Juvenile he rose to the subsidiary, first in Third and this year in Second B. He has played nine games in the bronze division at just 18 years old (he turned them in February), something very rare in a goalkeeper. In Osasuna they know that they have in their quarry the next goalkeeper of the first team and they have no doubts when it comes to giving him the opportunity, despite the fear that always exists in using young players in such a delicate position. The bet for Martínez is decided.
He responds on the field, where he is a reflex keeper, brave and with great footwork. But it doesn't stop there: he also has concerns off the pitch. He showed it in the U-17 World Cup in Brazil with Spain, where he took advantage of every afternoon to study and not miss the rhythm of boys his age. He is currently preparing the University Access Assessment (EVAU) and is ambitious: wants to take note to start studying a double degree: ADE (Business Administration and Management and Law). A special talent on the pitch and a beautifully furnished head outside it …