Not that he was too impressed.
“Hopefully next time they’ll give me an award with my name on it because they gave me a trophy for the Golden Boot without anything,” he said.
What did affect him was the sight of the red, black and gold pieces of paper on every seat in the stadium that were part of tifo planned by Atlanta United and required everyone in the stadium to participate, and his grandmother crying during the game. Martinez said he gave her his jersey, something he said he’s never done before.
Martinez recently authored an article in The Players' Tribune about his affection for Atlanta, a love that was enriched on Sunday.
“I never experienced the affection like I have here,” he said. “It’s very emotional for me when I see my grandmother cry. It makes me emotional, but my grandmother has always been there for me, so it’s really important to have her here. We got to the stadium today, and we saw the papers in the stands and everything they had choreographed, and it was really special.”
Now, Martinez just has one more request, one that will probably require the team winning the MLS Cup at the very least. It must eliminate Red Bulls in the second game on Thursday in Harrison, N.J., and then win the game it would host on Dec. 8 against either Sporting KC or Portland.
“I’m waiting for them to take the (statue of) the falcon down and put one of me,” he said.