Martin Christensen Braithwaite (born 5 June 1991) is a Danish professional footballer who plays for Spanish club Barcelona and the Denmark national team. Mainly a forward, he can also play as a winger.
Braithwaite started out in the academy at Sædding-Guldager Idrætsforening (SGI), after which he joined the biggest club in his city, Esbjerg fB. He then spent a short time at FC Midtjylland's sports academy, before moving back to Esbjerg, signing a three-year youth contract in 2007. During his second stint at the Esbjerg academy, Braithwaite went on trials with both Reggina and Newcastle United. He eventually made his Esbjerg debut in 2009, making 63 Superliga appearances for the club and scoring 12 goals, including nine in the 2012–13 season during which he appeared in every league game for the club. He won the Danish Cup with the club in 2012–13, scoring two goals in the semi-final second leg win over Brøndby IF.
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. At the same time he was being rumoured to be attracting the interest of a number of European clubs including Auxerre, Rennes, Celtic and Hull City.
On 14 August 2013, whilst away on national duty for a friendly international against Poland, DR reported that Braithwaite had been sold to French club Toulouse FC for an estimated DKK 15 million (roughly €2 million). Braithwaite started the match and scored Denmark's second goal.
On 13 July 2017, Braithwaite signed a four-year contract with EFL Championship club Middlesbrough for an undisclosed fee, reported to be around £9 million. Under the initial management of Garry Monk, he became the club's third signing of the season, after Jonny Howson and Cyrus Christie.
Braithwaite made his league debut for the club on 5 August 2017 at the Molineux Stadium, where Middlesbrough were defeated 1–0 by Wolverhampton Wanderers. He scored his first goal for the club on 30 September 2017, in a 2–2 draw against Brentford at the Riverside Stadium.
Braithwaite was loaned out to Bordeaux on 31 January 2018 for the rest of the season. He returned to Middlesbrough for the 2018-2019 season. However, while Braithwaite did start the season in Middlesbrough, he quickly expressed his desire to leave the club and go to Spain to play instead. This was much to the dismay of his Middlesbrough manager, Tony Pulis. After his unsuccessful attempt to leave the club in the 2018 summer transfer window, Braithwaite played the first half of the season for Middlesbrough, scoring three goals in 18 appearances.
Braithwaite joined Spanish La Liga side CD Leganés at the beginning of the 2019 January transfer window in a loan deal until the end of season. He made his league debut for the club on 12 January, in a 1–0 victory against SD Huesca, coming on as a substitute for Guido Carrillo for the last 26 minutes, and scored his first goal four days later in a 1–0 Copa del Rey home win against Real Madrid.
Braithwaite scored his first league goal in a 1–3 loss at FC Barcelona on 20 January 2019, and finished the campaign with four goals in 19 league appearances. On 24 July, he agreed to a permanent four-year deal with the Pepineros for a rumoured fee of € 5 million, hence becoming the second most expensive player in the club's history.
On 20 February 2020, Barcelona triggered Braithwaite's release clause of € 18 million and signed him on a four-and-a-half year contract. His release clause was set to € 300 million. Braithwaite's signing was considered controversial as it happened well outside of the January transfer window when clubs are allowed to buy or sell players.
Having already represented several Danish national youth teams, in the summer of 2012 Braithwaite was offered the chance to represent Guyana, being eligible through his Guyanese father. He declined the offer and went on to make his senior debut for the Danish national team in June 2013 in a friendly against Georgia, starting the game and playing the first half. He remained in the squad for the 2014 World Cup qualification match against Armenia. Braithwaite scored his first international goal in his second match in a friendly in August 2013 against Poland.
In May 2018 he was named in Denmark’s final 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Braithwaite has a Guyanese father and his younger sister Mathilde (born 2002) plays football for KoldingQ and for Denmark's U-16 national women's football team.
- As of match played 16 February 2020.
- Statistics accurate as of match played 18 November 2019.
- As of match played 18 November 2019. Denmark score listed first, score column indicates score after each Braithwaite goal.
|1||14 August 2013||PGE Arena Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland||2||Poland||2–1||2–3||Friendly|
|2||16 October 2018||MCH Arena, Herning, Denmark||27||Austria||2–0||2–0|
|3||16 November 2018||Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff, Wales||28||Wales||2–0||2–1||2018–19 UEFA Nations League B|
|4||10 June 2019||Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark||33||Georgia||5–1||5–1||UEFA Euro 2020 qualification|
|5||15 October 2019||Aalborg Stadium, Aalborg, Denmark||37||Luxembourg||1–0||4–0||Friendly|
|6||15 November 2019||Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark||38||Gibraltar||3–0||6–0||UEFA Euro 2020 qualification|
|7||18 November 2019||Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Republic of Ireland||39||Republic of Ireland||1–0||1–1|
- Danish Cup: 2012–13
- Danish 1st Division: 2011–12