There were reports Javi Martinez was re-joining Athletic Bilbao earlier this week, but he scored Bayern Munich's Super Cup winner.
Hansi Flick thought it was fitting that Javi Martinez was Bayern Munich's unlikely Super Cup hero just a day after he was reported to be re-joining Athletic Bilbao.
Martinez came off the bench in extra time of Thursday's Super Cup against Sevilla in Budapest and five minutes later he headed in the winner in a 2-1 victory that earned Flick's treble-winning side yet more silverware.
It was Martinez's first goal since April 2019 and it may be the last of his eight-year Bayern career as rumours of a return to LaLiga outfit Athletic persist.
The 32-year-old is in the final year of his Bayern deal, and reports suggest the Bundesliga and Champions League holders want a transfer fee for the midfielder despite Athletic's wish to bring him back to Spain on a free transfer.
"Javi scored the goal and won us the game. Sometimes football writes these stories – this is a beautiful one," head coach Flick told Sky.
"On Wednesday there were reports that he was in Bilbao, yet tonight he scored the winning goal."
Martinez also came off the bench to score an extra-time goal in Bayern's previous Super Cup triumph seven years earlier, when they beat Chelsea on penalties.
This time they triumphed inside 120 minutes, having fallen behind to Lucas Ocampos' penalty before Leon Goretzka levelled prior to half-time.
It may not have been as comprehensive as their season-opening 8-0 win over Schalke in the Bundesliga last week, but Flick was nevertheless pleased with his team's staying power.
"It took the first 15 minutes for us to get into the game," Flick said.
"It was great for me to see the team try to pull through with their mentality – and succeed. In the end, my players went through the pain barrier to win."