In the wake of the aftershocks surrounding the explosive news of the last week which included reports of Josef Martinez’s discontent at the club and the subsequent firing of former head coach Gabriel Heinze, Atlanta United’s star striker re-affirmed his commitment to the club in a press conference Tuesday.
“The first time I came here I said this is my club, this is my city and I love to be here,” Martinez said, speaking in English. “I want to retire here. I love this club.”
This is obviously welcome news to all, in particular a fan base that hasn’t had much to cheer for since November 2019 and are now deciding whether they want to pay for season tickets next year.
In the midst of what suddenly became a highly publicized dispute with Heinze, Josef Martinez reportedly told the Atlanta United’s front office that this would be his last year in Atlanta—at least with the way things were going—according to The Athletic.
After tearing his ACL in the first game of the 2020 season, Martinez’s grueling rehab and return to his full playing capacity seemed to be on the precipice last time Atlanta United fans saw him in a 2-2 draw with Nashville SC in late May. Over the course of the season, he’s gradually looked fitter, faster and aggressive in seven league appearances before departing for Copa America where he didn’t get to play as a result of testing positive for COVID-19.
Martinez will play with the team tomorrow when they travel to play FC Cincinnati Wednesday.