Family and friends remember Moises Martinez, beloved Fresno Fuego player


The community is mourning the loss of a promising young athlete.

Moises Martinez a 25-year-old Selma native died Monday. The Fresno Fuego player suffered a brain aneurysm in October. He was 24 at the time. 

His fiancee, Juanita Barrita said there were no signs anything was wrong, until he was hospitalized with severe headaches. He was flown to UCSF and had emergency surgery the same night.

“Doctors there said they had done all they could for him. It was kind of like a hope, a hit or miss, a miracle. So we’ve been fighting with him since,” Barrita said.

She said Martinez had an undiagnosed medical condition, describing it as a tangle of veins near his brain. “It was like a bomb a ticking bomb. It went off and there was just no reverse from it,” she said.

Martinez spent time in several care facilities, and was on and off life support. Barrita said he recently started having seizures, and doctors told the family his heart was getting weak. When it gave out, he was surrounded by loved ones. 

“I can’t say it enough but he was a great person,” Milton Blanco a friend and former teammate said.

Martinez’ death is a huge loss for the soccer community. People who knew him said his exceptional character was matched by his skills.

“I remember a few times I was yelling at him to pass it and he would just shoot it from 30 40 yards out and boom, goal,” Blanco said.

“There are two or three players that have been signed professionally that were at his level. So he had an opportunity. His life was cut short,” Manuel Mendoza who coached Martinez on a competitive Sunday league said. 

Martinez’ father, who Moises is named after, is heartbroken after losing his son.
But said he’s very grateful for the community’s support and is focused on what’s to come — Barrita is pregnant. 

“(Moises) had already bought clothes, and I was only two weeks pregnant,” she said. Their baby girl is due June 7. She said he always dreamed of being a father. 

“To me and to the rest of his teammates it’s like ‘OK, so Moi’s coming back,” Mendoza said. 

“When they look at the ultrasound pictures they say that she has his nose already,” Barrita said. 

Those who knew him said his life was too short, but his legacy will never die.

“He’s just going to live in everyone’s heart, because he had a place in everyone’s heart,” Barrita said. 

The Martinez family is now planning the funeral. To help them with costs, you can follow the link below:

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