Former Super Eagles’ striker, Obafemi Akinwunmi Martins (Obagol) has received a warm and very creative welcome message of his arrival at Wuhan Zall FC of China, following their conformation of a deal for the veteran attacker, megasportsarena.com reports.
‘Oba’ sealed the deal with Wuhan as a free agent, following his departure from their Chinese Super League (CSL) rivals, Shanghai Shenhua by mutual consent at the end of last week, and the well-travelled star is already thinking big of his targets with the Dongxihu Sports Centre outfit.
It is a third stint in China for Martins, who enjoyed a high level of success during his first stint with Shenhua, after teaming up with the side in 2016 from Seattle Sounders of America, but his second tenure with The Flower of Shanghai was not as rosy.
The 35-year-old erstwhile fleet-footed attacker, who played more than 40 games for Shanghai during his time with the side and helped them clinch the Chinese FA Cup in 2017, stepped in for a second term at Shenhua six months ago as replacement for Odion Jude Ighalo, who had a loan extension at Manchester United of England.
However, battles with fitness and a dip in form meant it was far from exciting return for the dark-skinned Martins, who had also previously played for United Warriors of Lagos, FC Ebedei of Shagamu, Reggiana and Inter Milan of Italy, Newcastle United and Birmingham City of England, Rubin Kazan of Russia, VfL Wolfsburg of Germany and Levante of Spain.
Consequently, he has now moved to Wuhan Zall as a free agent and begins a new chapter in his career, which blossomed when he spent six years at Inter Milan, for which he scored 28 goals in 88 games before leaving in 2006 to join Newcastle, where he was for another three years.
The Lagos-born forward, who got 42 caps for Nigeria, after scoring on his debut and went on to feature at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, has been handed a year’s deal by The Han Army, who finished sixth in the Chinese top-flight last season.
It is a golden opportunity for a revival for Martins, who only returned from a career-threatening injury in July and got the chance of living his dream for a glorious comeback with the same club that sacked him earlier on, having been without a club since 2018 due to a hamstring injury that caused his first exit from Shenhua.
Sadly, he could make only four appearances during his second stint with Shenhua before being told to leave last week, but he is determined to prove that he still has all it takes to play at the top level of the game, which has been boosted with the warm welcome message he got after his official unveiling at Dongxihu Sports Centre.
Wuhan’s welcome message, which was issued in Spanish, read: “#Fichajes| El Wuhan Zall hace oficial la incorporación del veterano delantero nigeriano, Obafemi Martins, que estaba libra tras abandonar el Shanghai GS. Ocupará la plaza de Rafael Silva, lesionado de larga duración.”