|Full name||Maarten Martens|
|Date of birth||2 July 1984|
|Place of birth||Eeklo, Belgium|
|Height||1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Playing position||Attacking midfielder|
|2004–2005||→ RKC Waalwijk (loan)||23||(2)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 30 April 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).
His former teams are Anderlecht and RKC Waalwijk. Martens plays as a left winger or as an attacking midfielder. He is key player for AZ, and he is known for his flair, dribbling and goalscoring ability as well as his precision passing and creativity. Youth [ edit ]
Born in Eeklo Maarten Martens took his first steps in football in Klauwaerts Bassevelde. At the age of eight young Martens joined the youth team of RSC Anderlecht. There, over the years he was a teammate of, among others, Urko Pardo, Mark De Man and Xavier Chen. In 2003 Roda showed interest in the young midfielder, but he decided to stay in the team of his heart. In the 2003/04 season, Martens joined the first team, but he did not have many chances to prove himself. Only once under the coach Hugo Broos played at the highest level.
Martens' improvement made Anderlecht to lend him to another club. Over a year RKC Waalwijk wanted the 20-year-old midfielder so it signed on a year loan. Martens, both as a midfield and winger, improves tremendously in his first season. In the summer of 2005 the club bought him from Anderlecht for a three-year contract. Football journalist Johan Derksen said at that time in one of its VI -columns that Martens is a fantastic footballer and will enjoy playing for Waalwijk.
In the summer of 2006, Martens moved like his compatriot Moussa Dembele from AZ. It was Louis van Gaal who noticed the young talents. Martens improved even further under Van Gaal instructions. With AZ he had a key role to the struggle for the league title.
On 28 October 2007 Martens had his first injury. This severe injury kept him outside for a long time. Only in the 2008/09 season Martens went back into the first team. He played almost every match in that season and attracted the attention of the Italian giant Juventus. But the Belgian midfielder remained in the Netherlands and won the championship with AZ. A year later, Martens made his first appearance in the UEFA Champions League. In April 2011 Martens was the victim of a challenge from his compatriot and former teammate Gill Swerts. On his return in August 2011 Martens immediately scored an important goal in the match against PSV. Two weeks later, Martens injured again. Only in December 2011, he succeeded to come back in the first team. In August 2012 Martens, after the departure of Niklas Moisander and Rasmus Elm became the captain of the club. Martens played the first few games of the season, but after a serious knee injury missed the rest of the season.
While Martens played for RKC earned the interest of Jean-François De Sart. He became the captain's of the Belgium U21 team. Over the years the young midfielder was part of a strong generation of players like Vincent Kompany, Marouane Fellaini, Jan Vertonghen, Thomas Vermaelen and Moussa Dembele. Was elected for the U-21 European Championships in 2007. The young Belgians reached the semifinals and promoted to the Olympic Games of 2008. At the Olympics Belgium promoted from Group C along with Brazil through to the quarterfinals. Belgium surprisingly won Italy to the quarterfinals by 3–2. In the semi-final against Nigeria, Belgium lost 4–1. In the game for the bronze medal Brazil defeated the young Red Devils 3–0. The good performance of the young Devils stood in contrast to the poor results of the first team. Many players, among Martens, from this team after the Olympic Games were promoted to the first team, but Martens throughout the years did not manage to receive a permanent call. But, he is up to date the player with the most appearances in the Belgium U21 team. Martens made on 7 February 2007 his debut with Belgium. It was coach Rene Vandereycken who selected him for the first time. After his debut Martens, including injuries, was barely called. In 2009, Frank Vercauteren, called him for the Kirin Cup in Japan. In 2010, under the coaching of Dick Advocaat, made his last international match replacing Wesley Sonck.
|2003/04||RSC Anderlecht||Pro League||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
updated up to 6 April 2014 (CEST)
Style of Play
Originally Martens was a winger, but his balance, ball control and agility allied with his skill on the ball saw him make progress as an attacking midfielder. Beyond his raw talent that was spotted at a young age by Anderlecht's scouts, it was his great versatility, work ethic and inventiveness that allowed him to become a key member at any team he played. Throughout the years he enjoyed giving assists and since 2008/09 season in AZ he gave a total of 52 assists.
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