TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Transfer
Recently crowned the 2018 South American Footballer of the Year, Martinez will join the Five Stripes as a Designated Player pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P-1 Visa. He will be formally introduced to the media during a press conference at Atlanta’s training facility on Friday morning.
“We’re excited to announce we’ve secured Gonzalo to a long-term contract with our club,” said Atlanta VP and technical director Carlos Bocanegra in a statement. “Recently named as the best player in South America in 2018, Gonzalo is an attacking player who can play wide or centrally. His abilities complement our style of play and we expect him to make a smooth transition to MLS.”
Martinez, 25, joins Atlanta in the wake of a career year where he led River Plate to the Copa Libertadores championship, scoring the final goal of a 3-1 second-leg win at Madrid’s Bernabeu Stadium that sealed a 5-3 aggregate victory over their hated archrivals Boca Juniors, one of his three goals in the tournament.
That earned Los Millonarios a trip to the FIFA Club World Cup, where they finished third, paced by two goals from Pity. Since joining River Plate, he’s won two Copa Libertadores (2015, 2018), two Copa Argentinas (2015-16, 2016-17) and a Supercopa Argentina (2017).
“I’m very excited to come to Major League Soccer and to join Atlanta United,” Martinez said. “The club has shown a lot of trust in me and I’m looking forward to working with Frank de Boer and my teammates to continue making history at the club.”
Martinez started his career with Huracan, where he was a teammate of New York Red Bulls midfielder Kaku. Martinez rose through the Huracan youth system, debuting with the first team during the 2011-12 season.
He has also been capped twice by Argentina, scoring from the penalty spot on his debut in a 3-0 win over Guatemala in an international friendly at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in September.