Diego Milito has revealed the backstory of how Inter Milan beat Atletico Madrid to the signing of striker Lautaro Martinez in 2018.

Speaking to Spanish outlet AS, via FCInterNews, the legendary former Nerazzurri striker denied that he had played a major role in Martinez’s decision to join the Nerazzurri.

Martinez will be leading the line for Inter in this evening’s Champions League round of sixteen second leg away to Atletico Madrid.

The 26-year-old will be doing so with the Nerazzurri captain’s armband around his bicep.

Martinez took over the captaincy at Inter from Samir Handanovic last summer.

This is a testament to the Argentine’s leadership role in the team, his loyalty, and also his quality. Martinez is well on course to finish the campaign as Inter’s top scorer for the third season in a row.

But it could all have looked quite different at the Metropolitano this evening.

Atletico had also made a big effort to sign Martinez from Racing Club in the summer of 2018.

And reports suggested that the La Liga giants were not far from getting a deal over the line.

But in the end it was Inter who prevailed in the chase for Martinez’s signature.

Milito Reveals Backstory Of Inter Beating Atletico Madrid To Lautaro Martinez

Asked if he, as a former player for both Inter and Martinez’s old club Racing, had a decisive role in the striker joining Inter, Milito replied “No. That’s not how it went.”

“Martinez is an extraordinary player, and he can ‘sell’ himself,” the 2010 Treble winner went on.

Milito explained that “It’s true that Atleti were interested. And that there were negotiations.”

“But Inter moved very fast, they went to Argentina and beat them to the punch to seal the deal.”

As far as what he expects from this evening’s match. Milito said “A balanced, tricky match. One in which Inter will have to be intelligent.”

“The Nerazzurri should have scored more goals in the first leg,” the former striker said.

“Because they put in a great performance.”

“Atletico aren’t coming into this match in the greatest condition,” Milito went on.

“It’s unusual for them to lose as many matches as they have been.”

“But they’re still a very good team, and they can beat anyone,” he said of the Colchoneros.