Josef Martinez has been the talk of the league since breaking the MLS single-season goal scoring record. Even though the Venezuelan has said many times he’s happy in Atlanta, a recent report has many European teams monitoring him, specially after breaking the record.
But for now, Tata wants to focus on finishing the season strong. In an interview with AS.com’s John Rojas, Martino was honest when talking about his relationship with Josef and Atlanta United’s expectations for this year.
Martino was candid as usual when asked about their relationship and their first phone conversation.
“We’ve gotten to know each other on a personal level, there’s been some disagreements but always with respect,” Martino said in the AS report. “I’m here to help with his education and try to contribute something to him that helps him get back to Europe, something I told him I would do back in our first phone conversation.”
It’s important to remember the context here, which is that this conversation reportedly happened before Martinez had even arrived in Atlanta. That’s not to say that the Venezuelan’s ambitions aren’t still to play in a top European team, but so much has changed since the conversation took place—both for Josef personally and for his value to Atlanta United and on the transfer market.
Tata Martino has certainly lived up to his end of the bargain, helping to turn Martinez from a Serie A reject to an MLS record holder. But while breaking records is nice and all, but Tata knows that silverware is all that matters at the end.
“Winning the Suporters’ Shield has always been our main focus and making a mistake late in the season can be decisive,” Martino said in the report. “At the end of the season we need to have a trophy, because if we don’t, all of this can be left in the past. Maybe unfairly, but it would stay there.”