An IRAIW Interview with Quenten Martinus
The J.League is set to return in just under a month’s time. One very exciting player in the Land of the Rising Sun is Curacao international Quenten Martinus.
Martinus first came to my attention when I knew I was moving to Yokohama. I researched the local side, Yokohama F Marinos, before I moved. Everything I read touted him as an important player for the club. After watching him play in person, I saw exactly why. His speed and physicality go a long way in the J.League. Depending on situation, and sometimes just his mood, he can outmaneuver or outmuscle opponents.
Against Kashima Antlers in that first match for me, he had free license down the wings and created at will. He continued this rich form until the end of the season. In the Emperor’s Cup final he displayed a fire and desire to win. He consistently broke forward on his side, creating gilt edge chances for his teammates. Sadly, few were taken and Yokohama drew the short straw in the match.
Given my high opinion of the player, my relocation to Yokohama, and my new found passion for the club, I was pretty upset to learn Quenten had moved to Saitama-based club, Urawa Red Diamonds. Putting my disappointment aside, I reached out, wanting to know more about him, his passion for the game, and (of course) why he wanted to join a different club ahead of the new season.
He graciously agreed to meet and I managed to sit down with the winger for a quick chat about his career.
What do you enjoy the most about living in Japan?
There are two main features that I love about Japan. One is its beauty. It’s a bountiful country with many eccentric facets. The cities are like no other and the countryside is vast and rich. It’s a place with true contrasts but both are appealing in their own ways.
The other key aspect of Japan I like is the atmosphere. People tend to be incredibly welcoming and polite. As a result, I think it’s a very peaceful country, which makes for a great place to live. I recommend visiting Japan to anyone, it’s a must-see place.
How do you balance your Japanese club and international career with Curaçao?
It can be difficult at times. Having to circumnavigate the world is certainly tiring. But I love my country and the hard work is all worth it when I get to pull on my national white and blue colours. I’m incredibly proud to do that, as I love my country very much.
A by-product of this is that I get to travel around the world, playing football in many parts of the world. It’s an amazing thing to get to visit all these countries and one I’m incredibly thankful for.
What made you want to join Urawa Red Diamonds?
There are a few different reasons really. My primary goal is to be the best and most complete footballer I can be. I think that in order to do that I need to try playing for different clubs under various managers. This move will give me another chance to learn and develop; and provide me with a new challenge, also something I wanted with the transition.
Urawa was an appealing move because they are a big club in Japan. Last season they won the Asian Champions League. The season before they came very close to winning the J.League title. It’s somewhere I can both develop and compete for trophies at the same time.
What do you think of the Japanese national team?
I think they have a good team now. Many players are playing in Europe, yet there is still a good quality here in Japan too. Over the past few years, I think they’ve come a long way. I think it says a lot when a team from Japan win the Asian Champions League too. Urawa has a lot of talented Japanese players, so the national game is only getting better.
What are your goals for the season ahead?
I start every season with the same objective. I want to get to the end of the campaign, knowing I’m a better player than I was before. I want to be able to track my progress as a player, say I learned something from the campaign.
What football team do you support and why?
I like to watch Barcelona. In my eyes, they play the best football and is a real joy to watch. My favourite player was Ronaldinho. When he was at the Nou Camp, it was unbelievable. Even now, the team are incredible. I really enjoy watching them in my free time.
What’s been your career highlight so far?
Representing Curaçao in the CONCACAF Gold Cup last year was incredible. For me, the game against Mexico in the Alamodome stands out as a career highlight. Regardless of the result, it was a great game against an exceptional team and an amazing experience for me.
Quenten Martinus will start his Urawa career with an away game at the Ajinomoto, as his new team play F.C. Tokyo on the season's opening weekend, February 24th. The game will be available on DAZN for Japan-based football fans.