Atlanta United’s defeat at home to Austin FC on Saturday was arguably one of the most embarrassing results in the club’s short history.
First-half goals from Felipe Martins and Ethan Finlay left the Five Stripes up against it in a match where they faltered at both ends of the field, while Sebastian Driussi finished the game in the 57th minute.
Josef Martinez is Atlanta United’s record goalscorer, a winner of three trophies with the club, and the most revered figure among supporters. More than anything, he is always totally open and honest about his feelings. Rather than get bogged down in any opinion or analysis, perhaps it’s best just to sit back and let the ‘King’ do the talking?
Here’s every word from Martinez’s fiery post-match press conference:
“This happened months ago, so it’s not a surprise for us. We played like this months ago.”
“I don’t know. You guys are journalists. You can analyze it better than us from the outside. What was said in here will stay in here. And you can have your opinions out there whenever you want. You guys decide what you want.
“Since 2017 a lot of things have changed so there aren’t any surprises. We have a lot of players injured. They (Austin) came here and played better than us and deserved to win so it’s not a surprise that we lost.”
“Soccer. Sometimes you can win, sometimes you can lose. It’s a sport.
“Probably, we have to apologize to the people who came here to watch the best soccer. Probably, it’s not the best day for us. We try to fight. They were a better team than us.
“The next game is the next game. You never know what can happen in the next game.”
“It would be wrong for me to speak about the team in the past. I think for me it could also be my last season here. I will try to give my best.
“Everyone has to think about what they did wrong. There are many things that we can’t control. Again, we have to apologize to the people who came here and have seen this team for many years.
“There are things we can’t control. We’re playing with what we have and the players that we have. Life is gone. Life keeps going, you have to keep going.”
“Yeah, actually, 100 percent. This didn’t happen today, it happened at the beginning of the season.
“We play because we have to play but in the training, some people don’t have that energy. Some people don’t know what they have to do, or they don’t recognize or appreciate the jersey and what we’ve been doing for a long time, and probably that’s the biggest problem.
“The injuries aren’t the biggest problem. We play soccer and you can have injuries every day. And some people still think ‘oh, because we lost this guy, this guy…’
“We all make mistakes and we are professionals. We’re not kids anymore. And if you come here you have to know what you have to do. And if you don’t come here for 100 percent, probably you don’t have to choose to play at this club. That’s the message for everyone. If you want to bring guys here, it’s because they want to play here and it’s not because of business, and that’s been happening for a long time.”
“Yes, and it could also be my fault. Maybe, as they say, the tree that always bears the most fruit is the one that’s also picked the most. I’m the first one to recognize that we’ve had bad games.
“And we’ve also brought many good games. And we’ve brought this city a lot of joy. But it’s a strange year and that’s life. Sometimes we have to fight with what we have and move forward.
“The people who are with us know, like the 70,000 people who were here tonight know, that they’re with us. And we hope the good times come back again.”
“I still have one year. I enjoy every day because I have to say ‘thank you God’ [for] bringing me back to the field. I try to do my best. Sometimes I can play good, sometimes not. Sometimes I can score, sometimes not. I put my whole body on the f***ing field and this is not discussed. But, you know, it’s soccer, it’s life. Probably, this team needs more different players and we think about it.”