IN PROFILE: Cuco Martina

By SFC Media Tue 07 Jul Club

Learn more about versatile defender Cuco Martina, who has joined Southampton on a two-year contract from Dutch side FC Twente.

Born in Rotterdam on 25th September 1989, Rhuendly Martina, also known as Cuco Martina, is a Curaçao international who plays as a full-back.

Martina’s two brothers, Derwin and Javier, both play their football in Holland, with Derwin having represented Curaçao alongside his sibling.

Martina’s football career began with RBC Roosendaal in 2008. Playing in the second division of Dutch football, Martina made 68 league appearances for the club, scoring twice.

At the end of the 2010/11 season, RBC went bankrupt and Martina left the club who had been relegated to the lowest tier of Dutch football. He was handed the chance to impress at RKC Waalwijk and earned himself a three-year contract in July 2011.

It was with RKC that he was handed his international debut. The defender was named in the national team of Curaçao for the first time in September 2011 by then-coach Manuel Bilches.

Martina won his first cap on 3rd September 2011, playing the full 90 minutes as Curaçao lost 5-2 to Antigua and Barbuda in a 2014 World Cup qualifying game.

The defender played alongside his brother Javier in a friendly defeat to Antigua and Barbuda in October 2011. He most recently represented his country in June, captaining Curaçao in a 0-0 draw with Cuba.

During his first season with RKC, Martina made 23 appearances in the Eredivisie but was unable to secure European football for his new club as they lost 5-2 to Vitesse in the play-offs for the Europa League.

Martina was a permanent fixture for RKC, who were then managed by Erwin Koeman, Saints’ First Team Assistant Manager, during the 2012/13 campaign. He played in every game, and scored once, as they finished 14th in the table.

His form saw him earn a move to FC Twente, who would finish third in 2013/14, but his first season with the club was split between 16 first-team appearances and 11 games for Jong FC Twente – the club’s reserve side.

Martina played alongside Saints midfielder Dušan Tadić during his first year with the club.

Last season, Martina played all but two of Twente’s league matches, as they finished tenth in the table, suffering a three-point deduction for failing to meet the league’s financial standards.

He also captained the club in Europa League qualifying, but could not prevent his side being knocked out on away goals to Qarabag.

The 25 year-old arrives at St Mary’s to becomes the first-ever Curaçao international to play for Saints and the second to play in the Premier League.

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