Josef Martinez - celebrating - happier times
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Atlanta United striker Josef Martinez had "incredible ball skills" at age 6, his first coach said

While Josef Martinez has enjoyed a breakthrough at Atlanta United, scoring 90 goals in all competitions since signing from Torino in Feb. 2017, it’s not a surprise to his first-ever coach in Venezuela.

Martinez went to Aquiles Nazoa when he was six. His coach, Simon Lozano, said the future Golden Boot presented by Audi winner and MLS Cup champion left a lasting first impression with his “God-given” skills.

“In a matter of seconds, I noticed that Martinez had incredible ball skills that surpassed all children his age and older than him, and I predicted that gift that God gave him was going to make Josef successful at a very early age,” Lozano told World Football Index. “He is still showing it with Atlanta United today.”

Also on display on the futsal courts was Martinez’s now famous unquenched passion to succeed.

“He always had a winning mentality and he never liked to lose,” says Lozano. “You could see the anger on his face but he used that to overcome his obstacles and today, you can still see the winning mentality he always shows.

“He always showed that he was a serious and very observant person, you could tell that when he arrived to play against the opposition.”

Read more about Josef’s start in soccer with Lozano here.


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