Martinez fondly remembers time at Club America but now all in with Atlas
Santos Laguna's Osvaldo Martinez (left) argues a referee's decision during a Mexican-league game on Dec. 1, 2018, in Torreon, Mexico.EPA-EFE/Miguel Sierra.
Monterrey's Carlos Rodriguez (left) vies for the ball with Santos Laguna's Osvaldo Martinez during a Mexican-league game on Nov. 28, 2018, in Monterrey, Mexico. EPA-EFE/Miguel Sierra
Monterrey's Celso Ortiz (right) marks Santos Laguna's Osvaldo Martinez during a Liga MX game on Nov. 28, 2018, in Monterrey, Mexico. EPA-EFE/Miguel Sierra
Guadalajara, Mexico, Jan 11 (efe-epa).- Paraguayan midfielder Osvaldo Martinez said he retains a fondness for his former club, Mexico City side Club America, but will be ready to beat the defending champions on the field when he suits up for Atlas on Friday night.
"One thing is the love you have for a team and another thing is work. I'm an Atlas player and it doesn't matter to me who's coming to our home this Friday. On the field, I don't know them and forget all about them because my goal is to win," he said in an interview with EFE on Thursday.
Atlas, a Guadalajara-based club whose lone Liga MX championship came in the 1950-1951 season, finished 17th out of 18 teams in the Apertura 2018 championship but got off to a positive start in the Clausura 2019 tournament by defeating Queretaro 2-1 in Matchday 1 last Saturday.
They will host Club America in Matchday 2 at Jalisco Stadium.
Martinez was part of a Club America squad that won the Liga MX's Clausura 2013 and Apertura 2014 titles.
"I have good memories that will stay with me forever. I'm happy to have left a legacy at an institution. That 2013 championship ... and the penalty I scored (against Cruz Azul) in the final are sensations that give me chills when I think back on them," Martinez said.
The 32-year-old Martinez first played in the Mexican league with Monterrey but showcased his best soccer at America, where he also helped lead that club to two CONCACAF Champions League crowns.
He later moved to Santos Laguna, playing for that northern Mexican club in 2017 and 2018 before signing with Atlas in December.
Martinez said he was pleased that Club America won the Mexican league's most recent championship - the Apertura 2018 - under the guidance of current head coach Miguel Herrera, who also managed that same team to the Clausura 2013 title.
"He's undoubtedly one of the coaches who taught me the most about how to look at the game of soccer. And not only that, also how to successfully manage a group. I had a nice experience at his side. Always under good terms and treated well," the player added.