Josef Martínez has a new home in MLS, officially joining CF Montréal as a free agent on Tuesday. But the Venezuelan striker is still chasing the same goal: to be the greatest goalscorer in league history.

“I want to reach Wondo,” Martínez told the media Wednesday morning. “That’s my thing, that’s my goal, that’s my dream and help the team to win trophies.”

Martínez has 105 career goals in MLS, good for ninth all-time. He’s still 66 goals away from tying Chris Wondolowski’s record-setting mark (171).

But it’s not just about scoring goals. It’s about setting them too with a new team, a younger one than during his sole season (2023) with Inter Miami CF.

“The most important is they have a dream, they have a culture and I want to be part of them,” Martínez said. “So that’s why I decide, or we decide, to still going to the conversation to have opportunity to come here. And that’s the most important.

“I want to be part of the club. I want to try to help. Obviously it’s a team, but I want to try to win a trophy and win the games, to conquer a playoff and win everything.”

Martínez, who helped lead Atlanta United to an MLS Cup 2018 title, also was part of a Leagues Cup-winning Herons squad last year that was steered by Lionel Messi.

That experience, Martínez said, was a valuable one for him to learn from arguably the sport’s all-time great.

“I’m blessed to have the opportunity to play with the one, the most important player in history,” Martínez said. “I mean, every time when I go to the locker room, we were so impressed because one guy, he won everything and he still [has hunger] to conquer.”

Martínez, who had tallied 7g/1a last season in 27 games for Inter Miami, joins Uruguayan forward Matías Cóccaro as new strikers in Montréal’s rebuilt attack, alongside Bulgarian international midfielder Dominik Yankov for first-year head coach Laurent Courtois. The club scored just 36 goals in 2023, missing the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs (10th in Eastern Conference).

“I saw a couple of videos and I know he’s a top guy, he’s important for the league,” Martínez said of Cóccaro. “Hopefully we have a good match together and then hopefully I can try to help because I have a little bit more experience, a little bit in the league. This is the group and we have to fight together and hopefully we can have a good chance.”

Martínez has always brought that fight and sometimes gets overheated on the field. One such occasion came in August 2021 when Martínez and Victor Wanyama got into a shoving match, with Wanyama putting his hands around Martínez’s neck. Both were sent off following the altercation.

“It’s soccer man. In the field, it’s a fight. He defends his color. I defend my color. He defends his team. I defend my team. And that’s it when the referee say it’s over, it’s over,” Martínez said.

“After that, we had a conversation together and then we don’t have any problem. We are soccer players, professionals and we want to win. Now we are teammates. We have to be together but it’s no problem at all.”

Does this mean a kinder, gentler Josef will be on the field in Montréal?

“Maybe that’s my problem. Sometimes I get so emotional. I don’t like to lose,” Martínez said.

“[Courtois] has a big opportunity to be a head coach. We are all together, what I said before. There’s a lot of young guys that are hungry to be important in the league, in the club. So hopefully not get mad soon because it’s soccer. I try to be a better guy. So we see.”