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Josef Martínez
Martínez with Atlanta United in 2022
Personal information
Date of birth (1993-05-19) 19 May 1993 (age 30)
Place of birth Valencia, Carabobo, Venezuela
Height 1.72 m
Playing position Striker
Youth career
0000–2010 Caracas
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2010–2012 Caracas 36 (8)
2012–2014 Young Boys 37 (4)
2013–2014 → Thun (loan) 18 (8)
2014–2017 Torino 58 (7)
2017 Atlanta United (loan) 3 (5)
2017–2022 Atlanta United 131 (93)
2023 Inter Miami 27 (7)
National team
2011–2013 Venezuela U20 4 (2)
2011– Venezuela 66 (14)
  • Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 7 October 2023.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 03:44, 18 October 2023 (UTC)

Josef Alexander Martínez Mencia (born 19 May 1993) is a Venezuelan professional footballer who plays as a striker for the Venezuela national team. Currently a free agent, he most recently played for MLS club Inter Miami.

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). Additionally, Martínez scored 100 goals in the MLS faster than any single player in league history (125 games).

In 2018, Martínez became the most decorated single-season player in MLS history by winning the League MVP, All-Star Game MVP, Golden Boot, and MLS Cup Final MVP.

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.

Club career


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.

Young Boys

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 Thun

After one season in the Swiss capital city, he was sent on loan to Thun. After scoring eight 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 5–1 in favour of Torino.

On 30 April 2016, he scored his first brace in Serie A, as Torino won 5–1 away to Udinese.

Atlanta United

Josef Martínez (right) playing for Atlanta United on 19 June 2022 against Inter Miami

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 2–1 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 Venezuela 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.

2018 season

2018-03-17 - Atlanta United vs Vancouver Whitecaps (Josef Martinez cropped)
Josef Martinez in 2018

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 ten goals and adding one assist to lead the Five Stripes to a 3–1–1 record.

He scored the only goal for the MLS All-Stars in the 2018 MLS All-Star Game against Juventus, a 1–1 draw, and was named MVP.

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.

2019 season

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).

2020 season

On 29 February 2020, in Atlanta United’s first game of the 2020 season, Martínez suffered a torn ACL against MLS debutant Nashville SC. Martínez missed the entirety of the 2020 season.

2021 season

Martínez made his first appearance since early last season on 6 April 2021 in the CONCACAF Champions League against Alajuelense, coming on as a 67th minute substitute in the 1–0 away victory. On 9 May 2021, Martínez scored his first goal of the season in a 1–1 draw against Inter Miami. In July 2021, after returning from Copa América, it was revealed by coach Gabriel Heinze that Martínez was training away from the team, with no specific reason given. Heinze was removed as Atlanta United's coach on 18 July and Martínez played his first match since returning on 21 July against FC Cincinnati. He came on as a substitute in the 1–1 draw.

On 30 July 2021, Martínez scored the opening goal for Atlanta United in the first minute of a 3–2 away defeat against Orlando City. He then scored the first goal for Atlanta on 4 August in their 2–2 draw against CF Montréal. Martínez also earned a red card in the 82nd minute following an altercation with Montréal's Victor Wanyama. He returned to the side on 15 August, scoring the only goal in a 1–0 home victory against Los Angeles FC.

2022 season

Martínez scored his first goal of the 2022 season on 13 March 2022. After a second successful knee surgery, he started his first game since April, where he went on to score a goal and assisted another.

At the end of the season, after winning the award for the 2022 MLS Goal of the Year, Martínez did not renew his contract with Atlanta United, subsequently leaving the club after six seasons.

Inter Miami

2023 season

MIA-NSH US Open Cup 57 goal celebration (Josef Martinez cropped)
Josef Martinez playing for Inter Miami in the 2023 U.S. Open Cup

On 18 January 2023, it was announced that Martínez had been traded to Inter Miami.

On 19 August, Inter Miami won the 2023 Leagues Cup, with Martínez scoring three goals in the competition. Later on, Inter Miami went to the 2023 U.S. Open Cup final, where they lost 1–2 against the Houston Dynamo, with Josef scoring the only goal.

On 21 October, Inter Miami's head coach, Gerardo Martino, confirmed that Martinez would leave Inter Miami after only one season. Four days later, the club confirmed the player's departure.

International career

Josef Martínez (49443552917)
Martínez playing for Venezuela in 2019.

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.c

Style of play

While he started as a winger, a position in which he often played at Torino under Sinisa Mihajlovic, it was Gerardo Martino who changed his position, converting him into a center forward. Primarily a forward, Martínez is an 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.

Career statistics


Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National cup Continental Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Caracas 2010–11 Venezuelan Primera División 21 4 7 1 28 5
2011–12 15 4 0 0 15 4
Total 36 8 7 1 43 9
Young Boys 2011–12 Swiss Super League 11 0 0 0 11 0
2012–13 8 1 1 0 9 1
2013–14 18 3 0 0 18 3
Total 37 4 1 0 38 4
FC Thun 2013–14 Swiss Super League 18 8 3 1 11 1 32 10
Torino 2014–15 Serie A 26 3 1 1 13 3 40 7
2015–16 21 3 2 1 23 4
2016–17 11 1 1 1 12 2
Total 58 7 4 3 13 3 75 13
Atlanta United 2017 MLS 20 19 1 1 1 0 22 20
2018 34 31 5 4 39 35
2019 29 27 2 1 5 4 3 1 39 33
2020 1 0 2 2 3 2
2021 24 12 4 0 1 0 29 12
2022 26 9 0 0 26 9
Total 134 98 3 2 11 6 10 5 158 111
Inter Miami 2023 MLS 27 7 6 2 7 3 40 12
Career total 310 132 17 8 42 11 17 8 386 159


Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Venezuela 2011 3 0
2012 3 0
2013 6 2
2014 3 0
2015 7 2
2016 15 5
2017 5 0
2018 3 0
2019 6 2
2021 4 0
2022 5 2
2023 6 1
Total 66 14
Scores and results list Venezuela's goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Martínez goal.
List of international goals scored by Josef Martínez
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition
1 22 May 2013 Estadio José Pachencho Romero, Maracaibo, Venezuela 7  El Salvador 2–1 2–1 Friendly
2 14 August 2013 Estadio José Pachencho Romero, Maracaibo, Venezuela 9  Bolivia 1–0 2–2 Friendly
3 31 March 2015 Lockhart Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, United States 17  Peru 1–0 1–0 Friendly
4 17 November 2015 Estadio Cachamay, Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela 22  Ecuador 1–3 1–3 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
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 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
8 3–0
9 4–0
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
12 1 February 2022 Estadio Centenario, Montevideo, Uruguay 57  Uruguay 1–4 1–4 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification
13 27 September 2022 Stadion Wiener Neustadt, Wiener Neustadt, Austria 60  United Arab Emirates 4–0 4–0 Friendly
14 25 March 2023 Prince Abdullah Al Faisal Stadium, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 61  Saudi Arabia 1–0 2–1 Friendly


Atlanta United

Inter Miami

  • Leagues Cup: 2023


  • Swiss Super League Team of the Year: 2013–14
  • MLS Best XI: 2017, 2018, 2019
  • MLS Most Valuable Player: 2018
  • MLS Golden Boot: 2018
  • MLS All-Star: 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 100 goals club
  • MLS Goal of the Year: 2019, 2022

See also

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