martin braithwaite
martin braithwaite playing

Today, Martin Braithwaite is one of the most exciting talents in international football. But earning his first international contract in Toulouse, Martin faced challenges that taught him a valuable lesson, and one he always tells his fans:

Never. Give. Up.

Before making his dream a reality, Martin had to put this mantra to the test.
This is the story of Martin Braithwaite.

Brooklyn, New York. Esbjerg, Denmark

Born to Heidi, a Danish mother from a well-known local business family and father Keith, a tough, strong Afro-Caribbean by way of Brooklyn, New York, Martin started playing in his backyard in Esbjerg with his mom and dad whom both played football. 

As a baby, Martin showed a natural flair for the game, and at two years old, Martin was featured in his first newspaper story titled "Her er lille Martin med sus i gummiskoene" -- Danish for Here's little Martin with fire in his shoes.

Growing up different

Unlike every other child in Esbjerg, Martin was of mixed ethnicities, something that would shape his upbringing.

"We would eat different foods, listen to reggae and wear different clothes," Martin says. "We were different. Until my sister Amalie was born, my dad, my uncle and me were the only of probably 20 black people in Esbjerg."

Early years

Martin started playing in local club SGI, a known talent breeder for Esbjerg's main club Esbjerg FB -- the same squad Martin would rule nearly 20 years later.

Pushed by an ambitious father, Martin quickly racked up medals in indoor and outdoor tournaments and developed the discipline necessary to face adversity.

"Most kids would like to win," Martin says. "I needed to win. The last thing I wanted was to disappoint my dad."

“It’s up to you now!”

Martin remembers one tournament, the Donald Duck championships, a big tournament for small players.
"We were up 1-0 but the other team scored in the closing minutes and it looked like they were going to beat us. So my dad yelled, 'It's up to you now!'"

Sure enough, Martin delivered a spectacular strike from midfield that cemented the game and the championship.
"And probably saved me from an ass whooping," Martin says, laughing. "My dad was tough. "

"In all seriousness, I think that drive, that desire comes from the fact that my father pushed me and I am so thankful that he did because it teaches you not to follow your human instinct when things are tough, which is to give up, but keep going. And that's what makes a winner."

However before all of this, Martin had already had his first big challenge in life.

The first contract

Showing his playmaking ability and versatility, Martin landed his first contract at 15 when he signed with FC Midtjylland, a top Danish club known for its acclaimed youth academy that bred young players into stars and sold them off to other European leagues at a pretty profit.

The intense Midtjylland training untapped a vital aspect of his game that he uses to terrorize defenses today.

"My speed," he says, which he inherited from his dad, an insanely fast athletics sprinter who likely would've made the Olympics, had he just capitalized on his talents.

"Martin was never a fast player when he was younger," his uncle says. "He couldn't even really jump when we would play basketball. But when I visited him at Midtjylland, it was like he turned into Usain Bolt."

After Spending a year at Midtjylland with a lot of injuries Martin went back to Esbjerg. Academy head coach and Esbjerg FB all time Top scorer Michael “mex” Pedersen had a clear plan for Martin. Being the future key player on the first Team.

But on the way Martin had a few challenges.

Esbjerg struggles

Former Esbjerg coach and fan favorite Ove Pedersen (an old school guy who would break players mentally, only to rebuild them) had returned to Esbjerg. 

As was his style throughout his career, Pedersen brought his players of preference along, leaving the ones he didn’t believe in behind.

He didn't believe in Martin– despite top players marveling about Martin, publicly and privately.

He gave 18 year-old Martin his debut in fall 2009 in an away games against fc Copenhagen. Martin would spend one year not playing more than 5-10 minutes per match before having is debut as a starter.

"Life sometimes shows you different challenges, different things that you have to deal with," Martin says. "But you just have to keep going.

They may not have known what I could do, but I knew. And you know that eventually, your time will come."

NFL training camp

During winter breaks, while his teammates were on vacation, Martin would travel to the US, where close family friend Will Shields, 2015 NFL Hall Of Famer put him through a grueling, NFL-style training camp at his workout facility Inside 68.

"No wonder American athletes are so good," he says. "They put them through torture. But you see the results when they play. It made me realize how much harder I could push myself.

After a month of brutal training, Martin would return home more explosive, faster and stronger -- and a far cry from the clever, but not so fast midfielder from his youth. (Today, Martin is the fastest player in Denmark.)

Martin makes the squad

As Pedersen refused to build around Martin, Esbjerg continued to struggle in the league, which eventually led to Pedersen's dismissal. The replacement was Jess Thorup (assistant coach under Ove) and direct Martin saw the changement.

"He always pushed for me to play," Martin says. "As soon as he came back, I had a key role on the team."

Winning the Cup

He led Esbjerg to the Danish Cup for the first time since 1976, including scoring two goals against the heavily-favored Brøndby in the semifinals. In the final, Martin made the all-important assist that led to the 1-0 victory against long-time rivals Randers FC.


Following his impressive displays for Esbjerg in the 2013 Danish Superliga spring season and the Danish Cup he was called up to the Danish national squad in the summer of 2013. 

"It's funny," Martin says. "When I couldn't get on the team, everyone, except for a few people who believed, suggested I should go to the lower leagues and play there."

"People were tough on him," father Keith says. "They said he wasn't good enough to get on Esbjerg's team. We always knew differently."

Setting sights abroad

"In the meantime, I continued to write down my goals, which most people thought were unrealistic, and write down names of clubs I wanted to play in when I reached a certain age," Martin says.

With the rapid success of Esbjerg – the team had the best record of 2013, fueled in large part by Martin’s momentum -- he was being rumored to be attracting the interest of a number of European clubs. 

"Most people thought that it had happened quickly," Martin says.

"But in reality, for me it came slowly. There were some long seasons, some challenging moments, day in and day out, but even though most of the critics had their opinions about me, I knew all along in my heart that I was going to get sold to an foreign club in one of Europe’s top 5 leagues."

Transfer

On Aug. 14 2013, while away on national duty for a friendly international against Poland, Braithwaite had been sold to French club Toulouse FC for an estimated DKK 15 mil (roughly € 2 mil). 

Braithwaite started the match – only the 4th black person to represent Denmark, ever – and scored Denmark's second goal.

"Then it was right down to France," he says. "I then called my uncle in Florida, who shares the exact same philosophy as me, and I showed him an old notebook.

The notebook

"In it were some of my goals, including clubs I would play for at a certain time. I had written it while we were struggling in First Division, after being demoted from the Superliga.

"In the book, I took a screenshot. It said "Toulouse FC."

"At the time, I had no idea," he says. "But that's where I ended up.

That's where I'm living my dream. It's the law of attraction, no doubt about it."

Fatherhood

"I met my girlfriend shortly after coming to France, which was one the biggest changes in my life," he says. "She already had two young children, which made me mature much faster."

The 17th April 2015, Martin became a father to a young son Romeo Lion Braithwaite, something that changed him.

The 18th April in a game against Lorient, after a long night with no sleep, Martin scored a goal, which he dedicated to his son Romeo, who was born just a day before.

"Today I am healthy, I represent my country, I have a beautiful family and I'm living my dream," he says. 

What's his secret? 

Hard work is first, of course, he says, and you must be willing to make a lot of sacrifices.

The most important thing after that?

"It's simple. Believe, set goals and eliminate negative thoughts, influences and environments, and I promise you good things will happen automatically," Martin says. "In fact, I would be happy that my fans message me on social media with their goals and dreams. I would love to support them."

martin braithwaite playing
i have a really big heart, and a winning mentality i am never satisfied with a draw
martin braithwaite

Toulouse FC

2013 -

  • 115APPEARANCES

  • 30Goals

martin braithwaite

DENMARK NATIONAL TEAM

2008 -

  • 35APPEARANCES

  • 3Goals

Happy birthday @CDLeganes! 🎂 9️⃣1️⃣ #ElCorazónDeUnaCiudad #NoSePuedeEstarMejorALos91 https://t.co/l07LIwrPRz


24 Jun

RT @Joakim_maehle: This is what it’s all about!💋🇩🇰🤫 #u21euro https://t.co/tPOjpFkqP2


21 Jun

RT @jakob_fuglsang: So happy for taking home the overall and yellow jersey from Criterium du Dauphiné for the second time. Has been a super…


17 Jun

All the best @EzequielMunoz https://t.co/k1gfUjKX5K


13 Jun

Félicitations mon gars @WissBenYedder pour le premier but avec ta sélection 💜🇫🇷 https://t.co/vPTDCZYn2j


12 Jun

➕3️⃣✔️🇩🇰👊🏼 #ForDanmark https://t.co/AOd1KNKFVw


10 Jun

RT @dbulandshold: JA TAK 🇩🇰🇩🇰🇩🇰 https://t.co/BlxBy9WllM


10 Jun

RT @TigerWoods: The King of Clay does not like to share his wealth. Congrats @RafaelNadal on #12!


10 Jun

RT @dbulandshold: 1-1 slutter vores kamp mod Irland. Pierre Emile Højbjerg stod for målet. Nu ser vi frem mod mandag, hvor en ny kamp vente…


10 Jun

⚽️🇩🇰 #MatchDay @DBUfodbold Danmark-Irland 7. juni klokken 20.45. #ForDanmark #Herrelandsholdet https://t.co/ue6uyPKkdE


07 Jun

Thanks for all of your birthday wishes 🎂 https://t.co/xcEpGO9SUQ


06 Jun

RT @TFCDatabase: 🎂🎂JOYEUX ANNIVERSAIRE !!!🎂🎂 @MartinBraith (28 ans) 👕 149 matches tcc avec le @ToulouseFC de 2013 à 2017 ⚽️ 40 buts 🎯 14…


05 Jun

RT @10TenTalent: Happy Birthday, @MartinBraith! 🎉🎊 https://t.co/UkdMONlvCy


05 Jun

👀⚽️🇩🇰 #ForDanmark #Training https://t.co/bo2WnwxoCt


05 Jun

Good to be back 🇩🇰 @DBUfodbold Can’t wait for Friday to come 😍 https://t.co/7W2fgWHe7P


04 Jun

RT @CaroWozniacki: Liverpool, Liverpool, Liverpoooooollll!!!!🏆💪🏻🙌🏼 #YNWA


02 Jun

Great week in Dubai 😎 Thanks to @IJF_Academy for keeping me sharp ⚽️ https://t.co/ExkP4p1NVi


30 May

Talking with @marca about my time in spain 🇪🇸 😎 Hablando con @marca sobre mi etapa en @LaLiga https://t.co/yt31FrwcaM


27 May

He tenido la sensación de estar en un club muy familiar. Los compañeros y la afición han sido fantásticos. Mi famil… https://t.co/OnaCX8gbbM


24 May

I’ve felt part of the family from day one. The teammates and the fans have been fantastic. My family has been very… https://t.co/hDLRcXJxaI


24 May

😉 @FantasyLaLiga 🔝 https://t.co/gZl2a4V7bg


24 May

I had always wanted to play in Spain when I was child ⚽️ Siempre quise jugar en España cuando era un niño 👉🏻… https://t.co/AhJ7PpUxlc


24 May

I had always wanted to play in Spain when I was child ⚽️ Seimpee quise jugar en España cuando era un niño 👉🏻… https://t.co/SnGb5LhL3e


24 May

Nice to see the office of @Marca 😉 Buen rato con mis amigos de @marca 🔝🗞 https://t.co/E5KikMeGGs


23 May

💪🏽 #ForDanmark 🇩🇰 @DBUfodbold ⚽️ https://t.co/8LoCLwLk8Z


22 May

RT @dbulandshold: Stærk trup netop udtaget af Åge Hareide ✅ Vi er klar til juni-kampene i Parken 👊🏼🇩🇰 #ForDanmark https://t.co/R5thSgTCUs


22 May

RT @GameOfThrones: Everything has an end, even #GameofThrones. Thank you to all in the realm. https://t.co/CIasWPg1x8


21 May

Congratulations @RUBENPEREZ_4 🙌🏻💯🔝 https://t.co/9cUZsxZX17


20 May

RT @rodritarin: Final a una temporada histórica. No fue el partido que habíamos soñado pero siempre lo dimos todo por esta camiseta, estamo…


20 May

⚽ @LaLigaEN 🔚 Last game this season... C’mon @CDLeganes_en! 🔵⚪ #VamosLega #HuescaLeganés https://t.co/vL3emNGHZv


18 May

RT @CDLeganes: ☀️ ¡Buenos días pepineros! ¡Hoy, último partido de una gran temporada en @LaLiga! ¡Vamos Lega! #HuescaLeganés https://t.co/…


18 May

Last week! @LaLigaEN 👊🏻⚽️ #MB2️⃣5️⃣ https://t.co/H2Q9NtEU2D


14 May

RT @EASPORTSEsp: @MartinBraith ¡De nada! Un placer contar contigo en el #TOTW 34 👌


13 May

RT @CDLeganes: ¡GRACIAS BUTARQUE! Sois el motor que impulsa nuestro escudo. #GraciasAfición #VamosLega https://t.co/rl5VNEBbED


13 May

Ready for the last game this season at home!!!! Come on @CDLeganes_en!!!! #VamosLega https://t.co/cMnnV5CUR2


12 May

RT @CDLeganes: ☀️¡HOY JUEGA EL LEGA! ¡Último partido de la temporada 18/19 en Butarque! ¡Os esperamos pepineros para intentar sumar todos j…


12 May

Gracias EA SPORTS FIFA 🎮 the hard work continues on Sunday 💪🏾 #vamoslega


11 May

RT @rodritarin: @CDLeganes @MartinBraith @EASPORTSEsp ✅😜⚽️


10 May

Happy birthday @AllanNyom 🎂😉 #FelicidadesNyom #JoyeuxAnniversaireNyom https://t.co/gfYXhG2Asj


10 May

Gracias @EASPORTSEsp 😉🎮 #FIFA19 #TOTW https://t.co/YgrslhkSPq


10 May

SCORE2HELP

This 2016/17 season, I will be donating 1.000€ to charity for every goal I score.
Let's rally around a good cause. #Score2Help

  • Action against Hunger USA

    Action Against Hunger works to save the lives of malnourished children while providing communities with sustainable access to safe water and long-term solutions to hunger.

    Action Against Hunger Website Action Against Hunger Facebook

  • SOSprema

    SOSPrema helps premature and hospitalized babys. Don't hesitate to help the babys and their parents. Your "little" help will make a BIG difference.

    SOSprema Website SOSprema Facebook

  • Le but à coeur

    Martin Braithwaite for Beinsports

Privacy Policy

1. Introduction and Who We Are

This privacy policy (“Privacy Policy”) sets out how Brandit Lda. may use personal information that you provide to us, or we obtain through this Site [www.martinbraithwaite.com], and other normal channels.

2. Personal Data We Collect

We may request the submission of certain mandatory personal data, such as name, address, contacts and gender. In addition, you may provide us with further voluntary information. Please note that your personal data (including images) may be provided to this Site by third parties. If you detect that the person responsible for posting personal data about you has acted without permission and you wish it to be removed, please contact us at [info@martinbraithwaite.com].

3. How and Why We Use Your Personal Data

We will process personal information provided by you in accordance with this Privacy Policy and data protection standards in conformity with Law no. 67/98, of October 26th, which implements the Directive 95/EC of the European Parliament and Council into Portuguese legislation. We may use and you consent to us using your personal information for the following purposes:
• contacting you with publications, direct marketing materials and invitations to events that may be of interest to you (you may opt out/unsubscribe from such communications at any time by emailing [info@martinbraithwaite.com] and putting "Unsubscribe" in the subject line. All our marketing communications include an “unsubscribe” link);
• administering the promotions, contests and competitions;
• managing the posts uploaded unto the Site;
• where required to do so by law or to meet the requirements of a regulator;
• where we merge, combine or divest a part of our business, we may pass your details to the prospective entity except where prohibited from doing so by law or professional rules applicable to us We may provide further details to you about information regarding you that we collect or uses that we may make of your personal information either at the collection point or through changes to this privacy policy. Brandit Lda may also store and process your personal data for statistical purposes, prevention of fraud, dispute resolution and law compliance purposes to the extent permitted by law.

4. Transfer of Your Personal Data to Other Countries

Where you provide us with, or we obtain, your personal information (through this website or through other channels), we will normally keep your details on a database. In relation to certain uses, the database may be accessed by certain of our offices and/or agents and contractors, including those located outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or your particular jurisdiction where the level of legal protection for your personal data may not be as comprehensive as in the EEA. In such circumstances we shall ensure compliance with the data protection standards set out above at all times. Your use of the Site implies your consent to this international transfer of your personal data. Any processing of your personal data by sub-contractors will be done in strict respect with the rules foreseen in Law no. 67/98, and the sub-contractor will have no processing rights beyond those provided by us.

5. Cookies and other usage tracking technologies

Please see our Cookies Policy for details of the cookies and other usage tracking technologies employed by us and our contractors. The Cookies Policy forms part of this Privacy Policy.

6. Privacy policy does not cover third party websites

Please note that this Privacy Policy does not apply to, and we are not responsible for, the privacy practices of third party websites which may be linked to this website.

7. Security

Brandit Lda. will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that your personal information is treated securely and in accordance with Brandit Lda.’s Privacy Policy, and Portuguese law, but will not otherwise take steps to ensure compliance with applicable laws in your country of residence. Please also note that Brandit Lda. collects your personal data over an open network in which personal data may be sent without any special security measures, there being the risk that it may be viewed and used by unauthorized parties.

8. Your Rights

You can see, review and change your personal data by logging into your profile in the Site. Please make sure to update your personal data, if it changes or is inaccurate. If you no longer wish to receive a particular communication from us please let us know and we will correct, update or remove your details. This can be done by emailing [info@martinbraithwaite.com]. Upon your request, Brandit Lda. will grant you access to and provide information about the personal data we maintain about you, update and correct inaccuracies in your personal data, as well as inform you of the purpose of the processing, the recipients of the data and the originating source of the data, if such information is available. You may at any time delete your personal data and/or your profile on the Site. Upon you request, Brandit Lda. will close your profile and delete your personal data as soon as reasonably possible. When your profile is deleted, all data contained therein will be equally deleted and you will not be able to restore your profile.

9. Agreement to terms of Privacy Policy

By using this Site and/or providing your personal information to us, you consent to the collection and use of personal data by us set out in this Privacy Policy. We may update this Privacy Policy and we would encourage you to review the policy from time to time to stay informed of any such changes.

This Privacy Policy was last updated on July 2015.

Cookie Policy

Cookies

We use cookies on this Site. A cookie is a small text file that identifies your computer on our server but does not identify the individual user. Cookies are not used to collected personal data. You have, at all times, the ability to adjust the settings of your computer to accept all the cookies, to be notified when a cookie is issued or not to accept any cookies. The manner in which this is done depends on your web browser. Please consult the “Help” option on your browser. If you accept cookies, they may remain on your computer for many years unless you remove them. Please note that disabling cookies may limit the use of sites in general.

Controlling cookies

Web browsers allow for some control over cookies through the browser settings. The majority of browsers allow one to block cookies or block cookies from certain specific sites. The browsers may also help you delete cookies when you close the browser. However, you should note that this may result in the loss of opt-outs and other defined preferences that were set for the site. To learn more about cookies, including the manner in which cookies are created, managed and deleted, please visit www.allaboutcookies.org.

Google Analytics

To supply site visitors with more choice on how their data is collected by Google Analytics, Google has developed Google Analytics Browser Opt-out Add-on. This add-on communicates with Javascript of Google Analytics (ga.js) to indicate that the information on the site visit should not be sent to Google Analytics. The Google Analytics Browser Opt-Out Add-on does not prevent that the information being sent to the site itself or to other Web analytics.

Acceptance of these terms

By using this Site, you agree to the collection and use of your information as set out in this cookies policy. If we alter our cookies policy in any way, we will publish those changes on this Site.