US Major League Soccer

MLS MVP Martinez signs five-year contract with Atlanta

Prolific striker Josef Martinez has signed a new five-year deal with Atlanta United after being named MLS MVP last year.

Josef Martinez is staying in Atlanta for the foreseeable future after signing a new five-year contract.

The 2018 MLS MVP has committed to 2023 with the reigning MLS Cup champions, the team announced on Wednesday.

And Martinez, who has been linked with a lucrative move to Europe, could not be happier to be staying in Atlanta.

"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 recognise 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 team-mates, 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 team-mates and for the city."

Martinez has already made history with Atlanta United. In his first two seasons in the league, he's already tied for fifth in most goals scored by an MLS player within his first three seasons.

The striker scored 19 goals in 20 matches during his first season with Atlanta United, then hit 31 goals last season. He is the first MLS player to earn All-Star, regular season and MLS Cup MVP honours in the same year.

"Josef is an outstanding player and I'm very excited to have him committed long-term to the club," Atlanta's new coach Frank de Boer said.

"As a manager, he's the type of player you want on your team because he is intensely focused and you can count on him every time he steps on the field.

"I'm looking forward to working with him and to continuing the great success he's had with Atlanta United."