Why I love this city? Reason ❤️ pic.twitter.com/O2rXQxTF6p— Josef Martinez (@JosefMartinez17) February 4, 2020
With arms stretched, the 2018 Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player now covers nearly an entire wall of a busy street. The love is mutual between the Venezuelan forward and the Five Stripes faithful, with Martinez showering the praise on Atlanta last winter when he signed a five-year contract extension.
“For me, this is my Barcelona or my Real Madrid,” Martinez said at the time. “It's not about me being a star. This team has 11 stars on the field, plus all the substitutes in the team, plus everyone who works here at the club.”
Since arriving from Italian side Torino for Atlanta’s inaugural season in 2017, Martinez has 77 goals and 11 assists across 83 regular-season games. He also has five goals and one assist in nine Audi MLS Cup Playoff games, helping Atlanta win MLS Cup in 2018. Last year, he also helped the Five Stripes lift U.S. Open Cup and Campeones Cup titles.
An early candidate for the Golden Boot presented by Audi race, Martinez will again be a central figure in Atlanta’s attack during the 2020 season. They’ll play their first game Feb. 18 at Motagua in the Concacaf Champions League Round of 16, then open their MLS slate Feb. 29 at expansion side Nashville SC.