BBN Special

Meet Nigeria’s Most Travelled Footballer

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The name “Obafemi” translates literally to “the king loves me” in the Yoruba language. This can be said for Obafemi Martins who has continued to take the gospel of football around the world.


By travel records and club played for, BlackBox Nigeria can say that Obafemi Martins popularly called ‘Oba Goal” for his scoring run, is the most travelled footballer ever to be a Nigerian.

Obafemi Martins with Italy’s Inter Milan

The beginning of Obafemi Martins’ career has been quite interesting.  A talented young man who was scouted by coach of FC Ebeide while he was knocking a ball around the street.


Obafemi Martins with German’s VfL Wolfsburg

Obafemi Akinwunmi Martins (born 28 October 1984) plays as a forward. He is known for his speed on the ball.


After leaving Nigeria for Italy at age 16, he has since played for a number of top-division clubs across Europe.

Martins while on loan to England’s Birmingham City


He began his senior career in 2002 at the Italian Serie A club Inter Milan, before moving to the English Premier League club Newcastle in 2006, and then the German Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg in 2009.

‘Oba Goal’ doing his thing with Spanish side, Levante


Having joined Russian Premier League side Rubin Kazan in July 2010, they loaned him to Birmingham City in January 2011. In club football, Martins has won the Italian Serie A title, the Italian Cup (twice), and the Italian Super Cup, all with Inter. With Birmingham, he scored the winning goal in the 2011 Football League Cup Final.



Obafemi Martins with United State of America’s Seattle Sounders FC


He has played European football with Inter Milan, Newcastle, and Wolfsburg, winning the UEFA Intertoto Cup with Newcastle. Martins has been in the Nigerian squad for the Africa Cup of Nations in 2006, 2008 and 2010, and for the FIFA World Cup in 2010.

The Nigerian with Chinese’s Shanghai Shenhua side


He played for Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer from 2013 to 2015, scoring 40 goals, before moving on to China. Obafemi became famous quite quickly, as in agility and skill he had few equals, so there’s no wonder that very soon he played for the Italian club Inter Milan.



As a member of ‘Black-and-Blue’ team, Martins proved his worth by scoring 23 goals for the youth team of the club.



Martins had two brothers who also played football professionally, his elder brother, Oladipupo Martins, played for Reggiana, Partizan, and Innsbruck before retiring from football in 2009 due to heart problems. Martins’ younger brother is John Ronan Martins.


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