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Martinez unveiled as ‘crucial piece in the jigsaw’

Javier Martinez is an experienced pro, but even he was surprised at the scale of the reception awaiting him at his official unveiling on Thursday. Some 100 reporters crowded into the Allianz Arena media centre to witness the 23-year-old, looking relaxed, snappily dressed and oozing calm authority, take his first public bow in Munich. “I'm really relieved to be here at last," he said.

After the 45-minute media session, during which the player was flanked by board director for sport Matthias Sammer and head coach Jupp Heynckes, Martinez took to the hallowed Allianz Arena turf for the first time, posing in his number eight shirt for the photographers. Suddenly, a group of 50 schoolkids taking a stadium tour shouted “Martínez!" from high up in the North Stand, causing Javi to beam from ear to ear.