Lieke Martens signs for Barcelona

Following on for the announcements of Nataša Andonova, Elise Bussaglia and Toni Duggan, new Barca boss, Fran Sánchez has made Dutch dynamo, Lieke Martens his fourth signing of the summer.

Well travelled

Still just 24, Nieuw-Bergen native Martens already has a wealth of experience behind her. Starting her senior career at 16 the attacker got her first taste for the Eredivisie at SC Heerenveen before a spell with the now dissolved VVV-Venlo. A jaunt over the border saw Martens sparkle for dominant Belgian side Standard Liège before she left for Germany to link up with FCR Duisburg, the goals and strong performances followed her around Europe as she made Kopparbergs/Göteborg her next stop in 2014. A key player in Gothenburg, Martens continued to score for fun, linking up with countrywoman Manon Melis during her first season before the pair were joined by Danielle van de Donk the following year.

The 2016 season brought about another move for the midfielder, opting to stay in the Damallsvenskan, Martens moved to then champions, FC Rosengård. A strong first season with the side from Malmö saw her stay on though the uncertainty of her deal persisted, Martens became FCR’s unequivocal start throughout the first-half of this season, her performances worth their weight in gold for a Rosengård team who were watching their numbers deplete and her absence will surely be felt.

Having made her debut for the Dutch national team in 2011, Martens has gone on to become an integral part of the squad, no matter who’s in charge, the midfielder boasting a healthy 30 goals across her 74 caps. Holding the distinction of the first ever female Dutch player to score for her country at a World Cup, Martens has made herself invaluable to de Oranje Leeuwinnen.

A great honour

Speaking on the move Martens spoke of being “honoured” to have made the move to the Catalan team, always a “great follower of the club,” she recalled her time playing against them in the UEFA Women’s Champions League earlier this year and heralded their “great players.” Martens’ goals are straight-forward ones with Barcelona, wanting to “win trophies” and “do well” in Europe.