Martínez with Atlanta United in 2017
|Full name||Josef Alexander Martínez Mencia|
|Date of birth||19 May 1993|
|Place of birth||Valencia, Carabobo, Venezuela|
|Height||1.72 m (5 ft 7 1⁄2 in)|
|2013–2014||→ Thun (loan)||18||(8)|
|2017||→ Atlanta United (loan)||3||(5)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 04:29, 1 March 2020 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 23:08, 28 June 2019 (UTC)
Josef Martínez began his career with Caracas. In 2012, he was acquired by the Swiss Super League club Young Boys before spending a year on loan at Thun. In 2014, he was sold to Italian club Torino, and in 2017, Major League Soccer expansion side, Atlanta United FC. He holds the MLS record for career hat-tricks with six in his first 44 games, the record for cumulative goals in regular and post season with 35, the record for most consecutive games with a goal (15), and formerly held the record for goals in a single season (31 in 2018).
He is a former Venezuela under-20 international. In 2011, he made his debut for the senior Venezuela national team against El Salvador, and has since represented his nation at three editions of the Copa América.
Martínez made his debut for Caracas FC on 21 August 2010 against Estudiantes de Mérida, entering as a substitute in the 70th minute, won 1–0. He scored his first goal in a 2–2 draw against Deportivo Petare on 21 November 2010.
On 3 January 2012, Caracas announced Martínez had been sold to BSC Young Boys of the Swiss Super League for a period of four years along with fellow right-back Alexander Gonzalez. He debuted on 5 February 2012 against Servette FC, which the Young Boys won 3–1. After a string of good performances, Martínez was called up to the Venezuela national team, as well as awarded his first start for Young Boys on 21 October 2012, in which he scored his first goal for the Swiss club with a volley in the 50th minute against Grasshopper Club Zürich.
Loan to FC ThunEdit
After one season in the Swiss capital city, he was sent on loan to Thun. After scoring 8 goals in 18 games with the team from Bernese Oberland, he was momentarily the top scorer in the Swiss Super League and recalled by Young Boys.
On 7 June 2014, Martínez was sold to Italian Serie A club Torino for a reported fee of €3 million. He made his debut in a 0–3 away win against Sweden's Brommapojkarna in the third round of the 2014–15 Europa League. He scored his first goal for the Granata in the return leg, won 4–0 in Turin (7–0 on agg.).
He made his league debut on 14 September in a 2–0 loss away to Sampdoria. On 7 December, he scored his first goal in Serie A during a 2–2 draw with Palermo. Four days later, he scored his first brace in the Europa League against Copenhagen, which ended 1–5 in favour of Torino.
On 2 February 2017, Martínez was loaned with a buying option to Major League Soccer expansion team Atlanta United. He made his league debut on 5 March in a 1–2 home defeat against New York Red Bulls. He scored his first career hat-trick, and the first hat-trick in the history of the club, in a 6–1 win at Minnesota United the following week.
On 21 March, Atlanta announced they had activated the buyout clause for an undisclosed transfer fee. He was named the MLS Player of the Month for March after scoring five goals in his first three games in the league.
On 23 March, while playing for the Venezuelan national team against Peru, Martínez injured his left quadricep. After more than two months of recuperation, he returned to action only to be injured again over the summer. Upon his return from the second injury, he scored hat tricks in two consecutive games against the New England Revolution and Orlando City, and was named the MLS Player of the Month for September 2017. Atlanta United finished in a tie for third in the Eastern Conference, but were eliminated in the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs by Columbus Crew. Despite only making 20 appearances (all competitions) due to injury, Martínez finished his first year in Atlanta fourth in the league in scoring, with 20 goals in all competitions, and was named to the MLS Best XI for the 2017 season.
On 2 June 2018, Martínez converted a late penalty kick against Philadelphia Union to notch his fifth MLS hat-trick, tying the league record for hat-tricks and doing so faster than any other player in league history. He broke the record for hat-tricks on 21 July 2018 against DC United, after only 44 games.
He was voted the MLS Player of the Month for July after scoring nine goals and adding one assist to lead the Five Stripes to a 3–1–1 record.
On 24 August 2018, he scored his 28th goal of the season, a game winner in Orlando City, to break the league single-season record of 27, held by Roy Lassiter, Chris Wondolowski, and Bradley Wright-Phillips. After failing to capitalize on numerous opportunities, Martínez utilized his quick footwork to cut back against the defender and then chip Joe Bendik to set the record in just his 26th match. He was named MLS Player of the Month for August 2018.
On 6 August 2019, Martínez was awarded the MLS Player of the Month for July. He earned the award having scored in nine straight matches, tying his own MLS record set the previous season, which was also shared with Diego Valeri.
On 23 August, he set a new MLS record by scoring a goal in 12 consecutive games. The goal helped his side to a 1–0 win over rivals Orlando and was his 15th strike during the streak. On 18 September, Martínez extended his goal-scoring record to 15 consecutive games, which is the third longest streak in world football after Lionel Messi (33 goals in 21 games) and Tor Henning Hamre (21 goals in 15 games).
Martínez made his international debut on 7 August 2011 against El Salvador as a substitute in the 76th minute.
On 10 November 2016 (matchday 11 of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification), Martínez scored a hat-trick against Bolivia in a 5–0 win in Maturín.
Style of playEdit
Primarily a forward, Martínez is a diminutive yet aggressive and powerful player, who usually plays in a central role as a main striker, but who is also capable of playing as a winger. His pace, dribbling ability, eye for goal, and his accurate finishing ability with either foot, as well as his head, combined with his ability to make attacking runs off the ball from behind and get into good positions, make him a dangerous attacking threat in the penalty area.
|Club||Season||League||Domestic Cup||League Cup[a]||Continental[b]||Total|
- As of match played 28 June 2019
- As of match played 22 June 2019. Venezuela score listed first, score column indicates score after each Martínez goal.
|1||22 May 2013||Estadio José Pachencho Romero, Maracaibo, Venezuela||7||El Salvador||2–1||2–1||Friendly|
|2||14 August 2013||9||Bolivia||1–0||2–2|
|3||31 March 2015||Lockhart Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, United States||17||Peru||1–0||1–0|
|4||17 November 2015||Estadio Cachamay, Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela||22||Ecuador||1–3||1–3||2018 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|-||20 May 2016||Estadio Municipal de Riazor, A Coruña, Galiza||24||Galicia||1–1||1–1||Friendly|
|5||5 June 2016||Soldier Field, Chicago, United States||28||Jamaica||1–0||1–0||Copa América Centenario|
|6||6 September 2016||Estadio Metropolitano de Mérida, Mérida, Venezuela||33||Argentina||2–0||2–2||2018 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|7||10 November 2016||Estadio Monumental de Maturín, Maturín, Venezuela||36||Bolivia||2–0||5–0|
|10||22 March 2019||Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain||46||Argentina||3–1||3–1||Friendly|
|11||22 June 2019||Estádio Mineirão, Belo Horizonte, Brazil||50||Bolivia||3–1||3–1||2019 Copa América|
- Atlanta United
- MLS Best XI (3): 2017, 2018, 2019
- MLS Most Valuable Player: 2018
- MLS Golden Boot: 2018
- MLS All-Star (2): 2018, 2019
- MLS All-Star Game MVP: 2018
- MLS Player of the Month (6): March 2017, September 2017, July 2018, August 2018, July 2019, August 2019
- MLS Cup MVP: 2018
- MLS Goal of the Year: 2019
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- "Josef Martinez". Major League Soccer. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
- Vickery, Tim (30 September 2019). "Martinez Refuses To Play For Venezuela". World Soccer. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
- "Atlanta's Josef Martinez wins MVP award in MLS". Sportsnet. 5 December 2018. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
- York, Jason (11 October 2019). "Josef Martinez "different" from other elite strikers across MLS history, says Arena". www.mlssoccer.com. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
- Straus, Brian (25 August 2018). "Josef Martinez in a Class of His Own After Breaking MLS Scoring Record". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
- "Martínez, Josef". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
- "Atlanta United wins U.S. Open Cup". Atlanta Journal Constitution. 27 August 2019. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
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