Rip off his shirt in a match? Part of the competitive fire of Josef Martinez

Atlanta United's Josef Martinez has scored  23 goals in 23 games. (Atlanta United)
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Atlanta United's Josef Martinez has scored 23 goals in 23 games. (Atlanta United)

A shivering Josef Martinez walked into the locker room wearing just his Atlanta United kit.

For the next 10 minutes, he tried to warm up after he was left standing in the snow and cold at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. After scoring three goals – his first hat trick in MLS – Martinez was named the man of the match. Television wanted to interview him after the 6-1 Atlanta United victory and they didn’t want him to wear the bulky jacket that was protecting him from the elements. So, he took it off for the interview, held outside as the snow accumulated.

That may have been the last time Martinez wasn’t hot.

Powered by a competitive streak that can be seen in every training session and every game, the Venezuelan has posted three more hat tricks, including one in Atlanta United’s most-recent game. He needs just one more to tie the all-time league record. He will get that chance on Saturday back in Minneapolis where it all started.

“What you guys see during games is exactly what Josef is like in every training session,” manager Gerardo Martino said. “I think all players are competitive. Some players show it more than others. When he loses a game in training or misses a goal opportunity and gets mad and shows it; he’s just an animal in terms of his competitiveness.”

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