Gonzalo "Pity" Martinez said on Sunday that he is joining Atlanta United for the 2019 season.
The 25-year-old River Plate midfielder scored a trophy-clinching goal in the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final on Sunday afternoon – his side defeated Boca Juniors 3-1 in Madrid – then promptly announced in an on-field interview after the game that he would leave his current club at the end of the year.
Pitty Martinez on @FOXDeportes confirmando que jugará Mundial de Clubes y se despide. // Martinez confirmed that He won’t be back with #RiverPlate comes January. He will play Club World Cup as his last tournament for the Argentinian team. @RobAbramowitz @arieljudas @GlennCrooks pic.twitter.com/7j4fKsG65a— John E. Rojas (@jrojasa75) December 9, 2018
According to a report from TyC Sports in Argentina, Martinez confirmed that he will be joining the Five Stripes in January after the match.
"It's the club that trusted in me, European teams didn't trust in me in their moment, I thought it through with my family, with my agent," said Martinez in Spanish. "It's a league that has grown a lot and we hope to continue making history in that club."
Martinez had been heavily linked to Atlanta in recent months; according to reporter Juan Arango, ATLUTD finalized their deal to sign him in October, triggering his €15 million release clause. Martinez scored three goals in River Plate's run to the Copa Libertadores title. He has scored 22 league goals and 14 assists since joining the Argentinian giants in January 2015.
With reports continuing to surface saying star midfielder Miguel Almiron may be bound for Europe, a move for Martinez provides a blockbuster attacking reinforcement in the form of a another highly-touted partner for Josef Martinez if the Paraguayan were to leave in the offseason.
“Pity is a great player. He has characteristics that are similar to Miguel Almiron’s characteristics," ATLUTD center back Leandro Gonzalez Pirez told Futbol Continental as translated by Dirty South Soccer back in October. "He wouldn’t have any problem adapting in Atlanta United.”