Another gem in the overstocked Spanish midfield, Martinez joined Bilbao for €6 million from Osasuna in 2006 and he has emerged as a mainstay of their midfield in the years since.
Having started his career as a 10-year-old, he made his professional bow for Osasuna B back in 2005, netting twice in 32 games. Emerging as a powerful central midfielder, he moved on to Bilbao in the summer of 2006 and soon became a regular in the side - totting up an impressive 35 games for the club in the 2006-07 season.
Continuing to shine, Martinez helped Bilbao reach a Copa del Rey final and he was rewarded with the 2010 award for 'Breakthrough Player in La Liga'. A World Cup triumph followed (albeit one in which he only made one sub appearance) but he was at his devasting best as he led the U-21s to European glory the following year.
Manchester United and Liverpool have been linked with a move for Martinez, and a transfer to one of Europe's elite does not look far away.
Strengths: A tough-tackler and comfortable on the ball he can start an attack as well as break up those of the opposition. At 6' 3'' he is also an aerial threat.
Weaknesses: Can be a little hot-headed and can always work on his positioning.
Career high: Played a bit-part role in winning the 2010 World Cup but led the Spanish U-21 side to glory at the European Championships in 2011 with a series of commanding performances.
Career low: Helping Bilbao to their first Copa del Rey final in 25 years, they were battered 4-1 by Barcelona in 2008-09.
Style: Powerful, strong, commanding, a leader in the middle of midfield.
Quotes: "I feel very well here, Athletic is my club, there is a great working environment and so I'm not leaving now." Javi Martinez, November 2011.
Trivia: He was born in Pamplona - the town in Navarre famed for its bull run.