Lautaro Martinez: ‘I don’t care if I score in Supercup final in Riyadh, as long as Inter win’
RIYADH: Lautaro Martinez says he does not care whether he scores or not for Inter in the EA SPORTS FC Supercup final against Napoli in Riyadh on Monday night — as long as Inter win.
The club captain, a World Cup winner with Argentina, has netted an incredible 20 goals in 26 games this season for Inter, who lead Lega Serie A. The 26-year-old attacker also netted in the Supercup final in Riyadh last year as Inter celebrated a memorable 3-0 triumph over city rivals AC Milan.
But despite not scoring in Friday’s 3-0 Supercup semifinal victory over Lazio — a second-half shot struck the underside of the bar as goals from Marcus Thuram, Hakan Calhanoglu, and Davide Frattesi earned the win — Martinez is unconcerned.
Speaking at the EA SPORTS FC Supercup final press conference, Martinez said: “Tomorrow is a very important game. It’s not important whether I score or not because we work as a team. We are thinking about tomorrow’s game, which will not be an easy one, but all of us are ready and know what we need to do. The coach knows as well that when we’re back on the field, we will know what we need to do.”
When asked if he was one of the five best attackers in the world, Martinez, who posted “Thanks Riyadh for all the love” on Instagram over the weekend, replied: “I try to improve every day, to help my teammates and to keep the fans happy. I feel I am at a high level, and I am working hard.”
Inter, who won the Coppa Italia last season and reached the UEFA Champions League final, face Napoli, the current Serie A champions, in the EA SPORTS FC Supercup final at Al-Awwal Park in Riyadh on Monday. Kickoff is at 10 p.m. and the match is sold out. Napoli earned their spot in the final by beating Fiorentina 3-0 on Thursday.
Ahead of the final, Inter manager Simone Inzaghi said he still has not chosen his starting 11. Inzaghi said: “There is a bit of tiredness in the team. Today’s training will be very indicative. At this moment, I don’t know yet what the team will look like, but I will see after training and decide.”
The 36th edition of the historic Supercoppa Italiana marks the fourth time that the prestigious event is being held in Saudi Arabia. The competition, incorporated in 1988 as a two-team match between the winners of Serie A and the Coppa Italia, has also previously been held in the US, Libya, China and Qatar, beginning with the US back in 1993.
This year’s Supercup — the first time ever it has been a four-team competition — is the latest illustration of Saudi Arabia’s commitment to host the very best international events across all sports, with football right at the forefront.
While enabling the Kingdom to build relationships and showcase the unique football culture to the world, hosting events like these provides new opportunities for Saudis to be inspired, pursue their dreams, and realize their potential.
Italy’s Supercup follows the recent success of its four-team Spanish counterpart earlier this month, which concluded with Real Madrid defeating Barcelona in an incredible Spanish Supercup final in Riyadh. The competition also featured La Liga sides Atletico Madrid and CA Osasuna.
Both competitions help kick-start an incredible year-round schedule of international sports in the Kingdom, with football, motorsports, tennis, esports, combat sports, golf, and equestrian events all locked in for 2024.