Nerazzurri CEO Beppe Marotta feels that Lautaro Martinez is the leader of this Inter Milan team, even beyond the captain’s armband.

The Inter executive praised Martinez while speaking to Italian broadcaster Sky Sport Italia prior to this evening’s Champions League match against Benfica, via FCInterNews.

Martinez is Inter’s captain starting this season.

The Argentine inherited the armband from Samir Handanovic who left in the summer and eventually retired from football.

Martinez is still only 26 years of age. But he has a lot of experience, having already been at Inter for five seasons and counting.

Martinez arrived at Inter still a young player who needed to grow and mature.

But the striker has done exactly that. He has shown leadership on and off the pitch for the Nerazzurri. Martinez has been Inter’s top scorer in each of the past two seasons.

He looks to repeat that feat this season too having scored 10 times already for Inter Milan this season.

Beppe Marotta Hails Lautaro Martinez As Leader Of Inter

About the eventuality of a contract extension for Martinez, Marotta said that “An extension is only the last of our considerations.”

“In my opinion, it’s wonderful to see how he’s become a leader of this Inter,” the CEO continued.

“He’s recognized as a leader of the group. And he’s received the captain’s armband from the club, who are putting greater responsibility on him.”

“In recent seasons, he’s acquired a winning mentality,” Marotta said of the captain.

The Inter CEO noted of Martinez that “He’s still yet to reach the most established part of his career. The one where he has a lot of experience behind him.”

“When he started at Inter he was a young talent, today he’s a top-class players.”

“He’s a player who can compete with the top players of the past in terms of statistics and how we rate him,” Marotta noted of Martinez. “But at the same time, he’s still a very young striker.”

As far as the secret to building the team, Marotta said that “Everyone within the team takes on a role with certain strategic objectives.”

“Here, the off-the-pitch staff makes up a united team that can analyze certain aspects such as how to create a culture of winning.”

“We’ve also created a strong core of Italian players,” the CEO noted. “They can give the team something extra compared to foreign players.”

“I think this is the right model,” Marotta argued.

The Inter executive noted “This group was formed a few years ago and today it’s matured a lot in terms of responsibility.”

“That, along with the technical qualities, makes it a competitive team,” he remarked.