Tata Martino - Mexico
USA Today Sports

Tata Martino: "Without a doubt" Atlanta should be 2026 World Cup host

Gerardo "Tata" Martino continued his perfect start as Mexico national team manager on Wednesday, with a 3-1 win over Venezuela in a friendly at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The win makes it three in three ahead of the Concacaf Gold Cup, and LA Galaxy winger Uriel Antuna set up one of El Tri's goals on the night.

It was also a return to Atlanta for Martino after leading Atlanta United to the 2018 MLS Cup title, and a reunion with star striker Josef Martinez, who came off the bench for Venezuela. Martino took a moment to reflect on the return to the city where he burnished his reputation in MLS.

"It makes me happy, being at the stadium," Martino said postgame on Wednesday through a translator. "I spent two wonderful years here and I had a good time while I was here the last two days. It makes me very happy to see the players, including of course Josef Martinez."

With Atlanta United and Mercedes-Benz Stadium breaking attendance records regularly through their short existence, Martino was asked about the suitability of the venue to host games at the 2026 World Cup, which will be held across Canada, the United States and Mexico.

"Yes, without a doubt, what Atlanta United has [done] in just two years, it should be considered [as a World Cup host]," he said.

And with the number of El Tri fans all over the United States, including in Atlanta for Wednesday's match, Martino cracked a smile as he touted the support for his current side in the ATL.

"What the fans and the city have produced each weekend, I think that the city should be considered, and for the big quantity of Mexicans that were here, I have no doubt that it should be considered," he said. "And if on top of that, Mexico plays here, it's a bigger reason."


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