More on Atlanta United’s Martinez and his record-setting night

Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez broke the MLS single-season scoring record when he notched his 28th goal in last week’s 2-1 win at Orlando.

After games, Atlanta United typically brings out two players for the media to talk in what I refer to as a scrum setting. Some interviews start with questions asked in English. Then, the questions switch to Spanish.

Here’s a portion of the questions asked in Spanish to Martinez and Atlanta United manager Gerardo Martino following Friday’s historic moment:

MARTINEZ

“I dedicate this record to my family, the coaching staff, the team, all of Atlanta and thank you for coming to support me here.”

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On what he was thinking when the ball went in

“It was a very fast play. The only thing I was thinking was that everyone was going to ground, so I tried to shoot it and thanks to God it turned into a goal.”

 

On what he thinks about people coming to the stadium to watch him play, many Venezuelans

“Grateful. I would have liked to stay out there with them a longer because they came for a reason. But very grateful for them, from the heart, for them coming here and this is also for them because in the last week I’ve gotten a lot of messages and for everything that we’re going through I dedicate this to all of Venezuela.”

 

On making history, for Venezuela, MLS

“There’s a lot of things going through my head. I talked to Ale (Moreno) outside. Thinking about my family, all my friends in Venezuela, and everything that they’ve suffered and experienced since this started. The truth is I’m very happy and this doesn’t have to end here, I want to continue.”

 

On all of Venezuela celebrating for Josef tonight

“I hope so. Now it’s time to think about the next game and the national team, which is what they care about most.”

 

On Tata giving him a kiss when he subbed out, to the new King of MLS

“I don’t know if I’m the new one or not. I’m very happy because we have a relationship that goes much beyond soccer and as a coach. I can enjoy that this was an effort of the team, all of us, and we have to keep working.”

-

MARTINO

 

“In Josef’s case, we knew that sooner or later it was going to happen, that he’d break the record. The good thing is it happened sooner. This will surely calm him down. It will take away the anxiety that logically he was carrying and he did it with a very nice goal.”

 

On how many more Josef will score

“I don’t know, but obviously as many as he can and that they serve the team to keep winning but fundamentally I believe this will make him calmer, that he’s lost the anxiety, he already has the record, and this will be good for him.”

 

On how well he knew Josef before signing him in Atlanta and the expectations he had for Josef

“We knew him well because during Copa America he drove us pretty crazy along with Salomon Rondon up front. In reality what happened is that I had to imagine him as a No. 9 because I’d never seen him play as a No. 9. But exactly what I like are No 9’s who can play and not just finish, because Josef has 28 goals but also various assists, some really nice assists, when his name came up I didn’t doubt it. I found the player I hoped to find. We had to get come to an agreement and work to play within the team to find his form. He’s in a favorable position with the way the team plays, assists arrive to him in many different ways, not just long balls where he has to create something alone. A lot of headed goals, because he’s a player who despite his short stature can jump as well as anyone. And then we’ve learned how to get along as human beings. We’ve had some good arguments, but always with respect. I always try to make him understand that I could easily be his father.”

 

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