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Martinez signs five-year extension with Atlanta United

12:50 AM GMT+8 17/01/2019
Josef Martinez Atlanta United MLS Cup final 2018
The league MVP is now set to stay with the MLS champions through the 2023 season

Atlanta United has signed forward Josef Martinez to a five-year contract extension that will last through the 2023 season.

Martinez is coming off a banner 2018 season that saw him set the all-time single-season MLS scoring record with 31 goals, and then lead Atlanta to an MLS Cup championship. 

The Venezuela international won the league's regular season MVP award for his record-breaking campaign. 

The 25-year-old was then named MLS Cup MVP after notching a goal and an assist in his side's 2-0 win over Portland in the league's title game last month. 

“Josef is an exciting, dynamic player and has proven himself to be one of the best in MLS over the past two seasons,” Atlanta United President Darren Eales said in a club release.

“In addition to breaking the league’s scoring record, his work ethic and determination were rewarded by being named league MVP, and most importantly, MLS Cup champion with his teammates.

"We’re excited to secure Josef’s long-term future in Atlanta and we look forward to celebrating many more accomplishments together.” 

In two MLS seasons since joining Atlanta from Serie A side Torino, Martinez has scored 50 goals in 54 games played, and has already set the league record for most career hat-tricks with six. 

“This means a lot to me because of the affection that the fans have shown me, that the fans show all of the players. It’s unique,” Martinez said.

“They recognize the effort that you give and they know you did everything to win, and I think that’s why we love playing here. I have to thank everyone. My teammates, the city, my family and friends, because this is a dream I’ve always had.

"I’ve said before that I don’t want to go anywhere because this is my home. You can expect more work, more intensity, because that’s who I am. I want to win. I want to do everything for my teammates and for the city.”