Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez talks about his future with MLS club

Atlanta United striker Josef Martinez on Saturday may have dropped a hint about his future with the club. His contract expires after the 2023 MLS season.

Speaking after the team’s 3-0 loss to Austin on Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Martinez was asked if he is thinking about leaving the club. He has said many times that he wants to stay with Atlanta United as longa as it will have him.

“I still have one year,” he said in English. “I enjoy every day because I have to say ‘Thank you, God’ for bringing me back to the field. I try to do my best. Sometimes I can play good, sometimes not. Sometimes I can score, sometimes not. I put my whole body on the (expletive) field and this is not discussed. But, you know, it’s soccer, it’s life. Probably this team needs more different players and we think about it.”

Martinez, won the MLS MVP in 2018 after helping the club win the MLS Cup. He signed a contract extension ahead of the 2019 season. He holds numerous league scoring records as well as most of Atlanta United’s scoring records. He has scored 94 goals in 118 league games. He has scored 107 goals across all competitions.

Martinez didn’t hold back on Saturday.

He said that he 100% agrees with manager Gonzalo Pineda that some of the team’s players aren’t fighting hard enough for each other.

“So we play because we have to play but in the training, some players don’t have that energy,” he said. “Some people don’t know what we have to do or they don’t recognize or they don’t appreciate the jersey. That’s probably the most problem. The injuries are not a problem. We play soccer, and you can have injuries every day. And some people still think, because we lost these guys, we lost. We make a mistake, we all make a mistake. And we are professionals. There are no kids anymore.

“And if you come here, you have to know what we have to do. So if you’re not coming here for 100 percent, you probably don’t have to join this, this club to play. So the people, it’s a message for everyone, if you want to bring in some guys, it’s because they want to play here and not because its business. And that’s happened for a long time.”

As a captain, Martinez said some of this may be his fault.

“As the saying goes, the tree that gives the most fruit is the one that’s picked the most,” he said.