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Josef Martínez talks about why he decided to join Inter Miami

The Venezuelan striker is trying to put Atlanta United behind him and focus on the David Beckham-owned team this season.

Josef Martínez habla sobre el impacto de Messi en Estados Unidos
John David MercerUSA TODAY Sports

Josef Martínez took Major League Soccer by storm and since arriving to Atlanta United in 2017 he has become one of the most dominant players in the league. In 2018, one year after joining MLS, the striker from Venezuela broke all player records by winning the golden boot, being named the Most Valuable Player and leading Atlanta to win their first MLS Cup.

New chapter in his life

Since winning the MLS Cup in 2018, things took a downturn for Martínez and he was no longer happy with the way the club was being managed. The 29-year-old wanted to be in a competitive team and fight for titles, but the Five Stripes was not meeting his expectations and thus he decided to part ways with the club prior to the start of the 2023 MLS campaign.

‘Hopefully, someday, Atlanta will be thankful’

The only player who was given a proper sendoff was Parky (Michael Parkhurst). The rest of us all left through the back door. All of us did and we were the players who won a championship for the club. I get it. We’re employees and unfortunately we all left in that manner, but I’ll always be thankful. Hopefully someday, well actually, starting now, [Atlanta United] will be thankful to the players,” said Martínez during an interview with The Athletic.

The 29-year-old striker played 158 games for Atlanta United and scored 111 goals across all competitions. Martínez tore his ACL against Nashville SC injury during the 2020 campaign and has been trying to regain his peak form since then, which is why he decided it was time for a change and the best option was to join Inter Miami to try to lead the team to win their first MLS Cup.

Josef Martínez surpassed all expectations with Atlanta United.
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Josef Martínez surpassed all expectations with Atlanta United.AP

‘I’m here to win’

“That’s the only me that I know,” he said. “In the end, this is a game, a sport. Everyone wants to win. [Miami] is a young club that wants to write its own history and do as well as possible. I’m here to win. I’m not here because I wanted a new uniform or because I’m here for one year. No. I’m here to win,” added Martínez during the aforementioned interview.

The Venezuelan international has made two appearances this campaign for Inter Miami, both as a starter, but has yet to find the back of the net. Martínez was brought to the David Beckham-owned franchise to replace Gonzalo Higuaín, who retired at the end of the 2022 season, and to be the leader of a young team. The 29-year-old arrived as a free agent on a one-year deal with the option for a second one if both parties agree.

MLS - Liga USA 2023

*Data updated to date Mar 11th, 2023