Obafemi Martins was a household name in Nigeria and Italian football in his prime, the forward was so lethal he was nicknamed “the weapon of Mass destruction” by the local media.
His journey in football started with a local amateur side in the West African Country, before moving to Italy where he caught the eyes of Reggiana.
The 16 year-old joined the Italian side’s youth team, made two senior appearances, but spent just a year with them before Inter Milan came calling.
He joined the Inter Milan youth system in 2001, a great youth prospect, he quickly established himself as one of the most feared strikers in football.
Martins signed his first professional contract with Nerazzurri, one of Europe’s biggest sides, and was under the wings of Legendary captain Javier Zanetti.
Among other leagues at some point in his career, he also played in England, Germany, Spain, the MLS and finally ended up in China; even then he was still a hot commodity.
It has been over a year since he played competitive football, following a ruptured tendon of quadriceps femoris at his right knee.
But he’s back and ready to have another go, he told brila.net, “I really miss football”.
Regarded as one of the best available Free Agents in football, per Marca, Martins insists he has turned down offers and is biding his time for the right one.
“I’m fit and I am just waiting for the right offer. I don’t really talk much, I just let my football do all the talking,” said the 34 year-old forward.
“There were a couple of offers, but I turned them down because they weren’t right.
“I really do miss football. Among other things I’m still hungry for the action and I’ve also got mouths to feed. At my age, I had great deals in the past, but it’s about doing it for fun now.”
On the international scene, Martins was just as lethal for Nigeria and earned 42 caps, scoring 19 times, until his last outing in 2015.
But he’s not contemplating retirement, at least not yet at club level, although the lengthy injury spell casts some doubts over his return to the round leather game.
“Well, the last time I played I was close to retirement; it was a serious consideration at the time, but right now I’m no where close to it.
He recalls his time with the Super Eagles; how competitive it was and the joy of getting selected for international games with the likes of Yakubu Aiyegbeni and Ike Uche to contend with.
“When I started playing for Nigeria, it was a beautiful moment. Back then there were six or seven players in that position, so to get the chance to play was a thing of joy.
“But these days it’s different. It was Odion Ighalo at some point, and may be a few young names are coming through now.
“I really wanted to do more for Nigeria at the time, because you saw players in my time who were cautious and didn’t give their all.
“Most were too concerned about not getting injured, losing deals getting into trouble with their club sides; me I was tough and played with passion,” he concluded.
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