Nathan Parker looks at the bubbly Dutch centre-back who has Louis van Gaal purring and is linked with Manchester United...
The 60-second story
Born to a Portuguese mother and a Guinean father, Dutch international “Bruno” Martins Indi could be set for a move to the Premier League following the World Cup this summer after impressing for a fourth consecutive season at boyhood club Feyenoord. The versatile 22-year old is predominantly a left-sided centre-back, but has turned out as a left-back from early on in his career. Distanced from his parents as a young boy, Martins Indi was picked up by Feyenoord and nurtured through his teenage years, making the full squad in the 2010/11 season.
The youngster made his debut in a Europa League tie against Gent in August 2010 at just 18, making his first Eredivisie appearance just three days later against Heracles Almelo. Although born in Barreiro, Portugal, Martins Indi moved to Rotterdam at a very early age and was given a dual passport, making him eligible for international duty for either Holland or his native Portugal.
- Born: Barreiro, Portugal
- Date of Birth: 8 February 1992
- Height: 6ft 1in
- Position: Centre-back
- Club: Feyenoord - 102 games, 5 goals
- Country: Holland - 13 games, 2 goals
Having chosen the Netherlands, the defensive powerhouse made his full international debut in August 2012 and has since gained the trust of manager Louis van Gaal. The soon-to-be Manchester United boss has previously expressed his faith in Martins Indi and is reportedly ready to bring the centre-back to Old Trafford with him after the World Cup.
Why you need to know him
With the exit of Man United pair Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, Van Gaal could place his trust in the young defender, moulding him into a regular fixture at heart of the United defence should the move to Old Trafford go ahead. Also linked with Everton, Martins Indi will decide on his future after his international duty is done in Brazil. A move to the Premier League seems likely.
Martins Indi will need to be on top of his game in Brazil if the Dutch are to progress from their potentially tricky World Cup group, and certainly if they are to triumph in their mouth-watering opener with Spain. If the youngster prevails at the highest level this summer, though, who knows who else he will attract.
At 6ft 1in, the stocky centre-back possesses obvious strength and has been commanding at the back for Feyenoord throughout his years at the club. Coupled with his ability in the air you could be forgiven for thinking he is building a career solely on brute force. Think again. The 22-year old entertains composure beyond his years and his ball retention is a favourable attribute of his game.
Despite not having a particularly bad disciplinary record when it comes to card stats, Martins Indi can be rash and clumsy in the tackle at times. This weakness is something that comes with his inexperience, however, and with a calm head on his young shoulders it's a kink that could easily be ironed out.
Van Gaal, often a stern and serious man, has been open in his praise for the young Feyenoord defender, even expressing a rare show of emotion when he once quipped: "I love you already, Bruno." He must be doing something right.
Did you know?
Playing the entirety of his thus far short professional career along the defensive line, Martins Indi was spotted while playing for amateur side Spartaan 20, where he played as a striker.
What happens next?
Now 22, Martins Indi has outgrown his starlet tag and has reached the stage in his career where his next decision could shape his future as a footballer. It is expected that despite Feyenoord closing the gap on Ajax this season, losing out on the title by just four points, the defender will leave the club upon his return from the World Cup.
Provided they spend well, Manchester United could return to the force they were once recognised as next season under Van Gaal. The smart money is on Martins Indi to follow his international coach to Old Trafford, and many will be surprised if he goes elsewhere. Whatever the outcome, it is certain that the next step in his career is one away from Feyenoord.
Shooting 6 • Passing 7 • Heading 9 • Tackling 8 • Pace 8 • Work-rate 7 • Crossing 6 • Creativity 6 • Dribbling 8