2018 (Columbus): Cristian Martinez has made 14 regular-season appearances (six starts as a left midfielder and five starts as a right midfielder) in 2018, providing two assists. He played all 90 minutes in the first match of the season on the road against Toronto FC (March 3), 58 minutes in the first home match of the season against the Montreal Impact (March 10), and 74 minutes in the third match of the season against the Philadelphia Union (March 17). Martinez registered two assists in a home match against D.C. United (March 24), and he was named to the MLSSoccer.com Team of the Week for his efforts. He started in the following three consecutive matches from a home match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC (March 31) to a road match against D.C. United (April 14). Martinez came in as a substitute for Niko Hansen in the 70th minute of a home match against the New England Revolution (April 21). He started in consecutive matches against Seattle Sounders FC (May 5) on the road and against the Philadelphia Union (May 9) at home. Martinez returned to the starting lineup in a road match against Sporting Kansas City (May 27). After serving a two-match MLS suspension, Martinez started in a home match against Atlanta United FC (June 13). He did not make an appearance in a home match against New York City FC (September 1) after being listed as questionable with a left ankle injury. Martinez made an appearance for Panama in a friendly against Venezuela (September 11).
2017 (Columbus): Martinez made eight appearances (one start): two substitute appearances at right midfielder and six appearances (one start) as a central attacking midfielder for Crew SC . Martinez made his 2017 MLS regular-season debut against the Philadelphia Union (July 22) coming on as a substitute in the second half for Justin Meram. Martinez started in Crew SC’s international friendly match at home against Eintracht Frankfurt (July 14) and provided the game-winning assist on forward Ola Kamara’s 26th-minute goal. He made his first start of the 2017 MLS regular season in the road match against Orlando City SC (August 19).
While on loan with FC Cincinnati, Martinez made one appearance (one start). He made a start for FC Cincinnati in a road contest against the Richmond Kickers (May 6).
2016 (Columbus): Martinez made five appearances (two starts) in his rookie season for Crew SC and scored one goal. He was officially acquired on loan by Crew SC from Chorrillo FC in Panama on May 17 for the duration of the 2016 Major League Soccer season. He made his first on-field appearance for Crew SC as a guest player in the friendly against Veracruz (May 11) and made his debut in the Black & Gold regular-season matchday 18 against Real Salt Lake (May 28). Martinez made his MLS debut with a substitute appearance at Philadelphia (June 1), and he scored his first career goal and became the youngest Black & Gold player to ever score in a regular-season match. He was called-up by the Panama Under-20 National Team, where he made two appearances as the team's captain in friendlies against Peru (June 7 and June 9), and scored a goal in the first match. He received a call-up from the Panama U-20s ahead of the 2016 UNCAF U-20 Qualifying Tournament (July 6). Martinez was loaned to Pittsburgh on a game-by-game basis and started for the Riverhounds at FC Montreal (August 10). He started for the Riverhounds vs. Wilmington (August 24) and registered an assist. He made a substitute appearance at central attacking midfield at Chicago (October 13). He registered his first MLS start at New York Red Bulls (October 16). Martinez made two appearances in the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and scored one goal. He started at right midfield against Tampa Bay (June 15), and scored in the 48th minute as part of a 4-0 win. He again started in the Round of 16 at Chicago (June 28).
2012-2016 (Chorrillo FC): The midfielder joined his hometown Chorrillo FC's youth ranks beginning at the Under-9 level. He progressed through the system to make his debut appearance for the first team in 2012, at the age of 15.
As of September 11, 2018
Martinez has earned three caps for the Panama National Team. His first appearance for the side came in a substitute appearance against El Salvador (February 18, 2016), where he helped Panama close-out a 1-0 victory. His second cap also represented his first start for Los Canaleros, against Nicaragua (March 16, 2016). Most recently, he played all 90 minutes in a friendly against Venezuela on September 11, 2018.
While with Crew SC, he was called-in for two friendlies with the Panama Under-20 National Team, both against Peru. He started and wore the captain's armband in the first clash (June 7), scoring a goal as Panama won by a 4-1 final. He again started and served as captain in the rematch (June 9).
Originally arrived on loan from Chorillo FC on May 17, 2016 and was acquired on a permanent transfer on January 25, 2017.
Martinez is the oldest of four siblings, as he has two younger brothers and a younger sister. His favorite food is rice with chicken and salad. Away from soccer, he likes to dabble in dancing as well as listen to music. Cristian enjoys playing the FIFA videogame franchise. Growing up, he looked up to Brazilian midfielder Kaka. His favorite soccer memory was when he received his first-ever call-up to the Panama National Team. If he could visit one destination anywhere in the world, it would be Spain. His favorite movie is the 1997 film Titanic. He speaks Spanish and is currently learning English.