Josef Martinez - Venezuela - 2018
Reuters

Josef Martinez thanks new Venezuela coach after phone call, suggests international return

As previously suggested last month, the departure of former Venezuela national team manager Rafael Dudamel may have opened the door for Atlanta United star striker Josef Martinez to make an international return.

That prospect appeared to grow even more likely on Wednesday, when Martinez himself tweeted thanks for an apparent phone conversation between he and just-hired manager Jose Peseiro.

"Grateful for the call from coach Jose Peseiro," the Tweet reads in Spanish. "We had a very professional and sincere conversation. I'm excited to start a new stage with the Venezuela national team."

Only last September, Martinez — responsible for two of the top seven goal-scoring seasons in MLS history — announced in an open letter he would no longer play for his country while Dudamel was in charge. Josef cited a strain in his relationship with the former Venezuela goalkeeper, and the toll he said it was taking on his own mental health.

Dudamel resigned around New Years, citing a lack of support from Venezuela's soccer federation, which filled the vacancy by hiring Peseiro on Tuesday.

Martinez has made 51 appearances for the senior national team, including 21 across a pair of CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying failures and nine more in three editions of Copa America.