Obafemi Martins

Martins has had a touch of wanderlust in recent years with four clubs in four countries in as many years.

Now at Levante in Spain, Martins has started well and six goals in his first 11 games augurs well for his Spanish sojourn.

Some of his problems at club level have been caused by injuries. His time at Newcastle in the English Premier League was relatively successful over three seasons but somewhat hampered by injury. When he returned to England in 2011 with Birmingham City for a loan spell he scored the winner in the Carling Cup and then suffered a season ending injury.

In between his stints in the Premier League Martins went first to German club Wolfsburg in 2009 where his form with the Bundesliga club quickly earned him another move. In July 2010, Martins was sold for a reported €17 million to reigning Russian Premier League champions Rubin Kazan on a three-year contract.

It was following the birth of his child, that Martins requested a move to England to be nearer to his family and joined Birmingham City. After Birmingham were relegated he  returned to Rubin.

Although things continued to be difficult at Rubin, Martins did win another trophy with the Russian Cup in 2012. A parting of the ways with Rubin was though inevitable after two difficult years and in September 2012, Martins moved to Levante on a free transfer, signing a two-year contract.

It’s all a far cry from when he burst on the scene at Inter Milan between 2001 and 2006 when his direct style and pace stretched defences and helped him to a healthy scoring ratio.

The goals also flowed at international level with almost a goal every other game for Nigeria, starting from his debut against Republic of Ireland in a friendly in May 2004. Played at the 2006, 2008 and 2010 African Cup of Nations finals.

There were important ones too. None more so than the two goals in the crucial World Cup qualifier in Kenya that saw the Super Eagles make the 2010 World Cup.

Martins is still young enough to come again with the Super Eagles, but will have to recapture the irresistible form he showed when he broke on the scene to force his way past a crop of good strikers.

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