Lieke Martens: 5 things you need to know about Barcelona’s superstar

Lieke Martens

Lieke Martens proved her class once again for Barcelona last night as the Spanish side won their first Champions League title in dominant fashion.

The Dutch international set up two goals as Lluís Cortés’ side romped to a 4-0 victory in Gothenburg.

The 28-year-old is a renowned figure in world football, but how much do you know about the Bergen born star?

Here are five facts you need to know about the winger:

Former FIFA and UEFA Player of the Year

Martens scored three times at the 2017 UEFA European Women’s Championship –– helping the Netherlands win the tournament. For her performances, the Dutch forward was included in the Team of the Tournament and awarded the Golden Ball.

More accolades followed that same year. Martens was named both the FIFA and UEFA Women’s Player of the Year. For the latter, she flew in a private jet alongside Lionel Messi and received the trophy with men’s winner, Cristiano Ronaldo.


Listed in Forbes’ list of Most Powerful Women in International Sports

In 2018, Forbes ranked Martens 22nd in their list of the Most Powerful Women in International Sports.

The Dutch star grew up playing with boys until she was 16-years-old and faced verbal abuse because of her gender. Being crowned the Player of the Year was the culmination of an amazing journey, with a generation of aspiring female footballers now looking at Martens as their idol.

Speaking to Forbes, the winger said: “When I was young I had men who were my role models. I really feel I have that role now and I want to show girls what they can achieve. I think we all want to be role models for them.

“My dream didn’t exist when I was young, but now little girls are starting to play football and they have their dream of wanting to play professionally and that’s amazing.”


Signed for Barcelona to win the Champions League

Martens attracted interest from a number of the world’s top sides after her European Championship heroics, but had already put pen to paper on a move to Barcelona before the tournament started.

Having played against the Catalonian side in the Champions League, the attacker liked the way they played and could see the potential for success in the future.

Speaking to The Telegraph last week, Martens said: "I signed because I wanted to win the Champions League. I knew we wouldn't win in the first two years but after two years already we’re in the final and now again.

“I like to play big games, it's why I make all the efforts, why I'm abroad from my family, my boyfriend, my friends — because I'm ambitious and I want to be the best of Europe."


Huge social media following

As both a national hero and one of Barcelona’s star players, Martens has attracted a huge fan base online.

On Instagram, the 28-year-old has over 1.2 million followers, while on Twitter she is almost at 90,000.

In terms of endorsements, the star is the face of Dutch jewellery brand, ZINZI, and is a Nike athlete.

Idol is Ronaldinho

Growing up, Martens’ idol was Ronaldinho. Speaking to The Guardian, the Netherlands legend revealed she was a Barcelona fan growing up and liked the Brazilian because: “He had long hair like me and great dribbles. I loved him. He was technical [and] made a lot of goals.”

Given her own dribbling skills and effortless ability to beat a player, it’s clear that Martens modelled her game on the former Ballon D’or winner.

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