Obafemi Martins was born in Lagos, Nigeria on October 28, 1984. Kicking the ball through the streets of his native port city, he was noticed by the manager of the local football club Abedi. So, the 14-year-old boy found himself in a real team for the first time, and a year later he left for Europe, where he joined the youth team of the Italian Reggiana. There the young striker was noticed by the representatives of Inter, and in the next season, Martins played in the famous black and blue uniform, albeit in the U-18 team.
The 750 thousand euros transferred to the account of Reggiana were totally worth the play of the newcomer of the Inter Milan club – 23 goals and a victory in the Italian Championship among youths. After such a start, Obafemi, of course, was in the main team. Subsequently, wearing a Nerazzurri shirt, he regularly scored goals, took a scudetto, and won the Italian Cup and Super Cup twice.
75 000 a week in Newcastle
In 2006, Obafemi was transferred to Newcastle for € 16 million. In England, the Nigerian spent three seasons, receiving 75 000 pounds a week. And after the Magpies flew out of the Premier League, Martins moved to Wolfsburg for 10.5 million euros.
And a year later, in the summer of 2010, the famous striker was signed by Kazan Rubin for three years, transferring 9 million euros to the account of the German club. However, the transfer turned out to be a failure both for the team from Tatarstan and for the player himself. Obafemi played with Rubin for just three years, was loaned out to Birmingham and eventually moved to Levante as a free agent.
“I am glad that I ended up in Levante and I hope to show my best side. I want to go out on the pitch and play. I didn’t come here for the money. If I thought only about the salary, I would stay at Rubin. I really had one problem with Rubin. Almost immediately after the transfer, I was separated from the team, although I was ready to play stably. But this is in the past – now I want to help Levante,’’ AS quotes Obafemi Martins.
The salary of the once mighty striker in the Spanish club was a modest amount of 600-700 000 euros per year. However, a good season at Levante allowed Martins to sign a much more beneficial contract and move to another part of the world.
In 2013, the Seattle Sounders paid 3 million euros for the Nigeria striker, and a year later Obafemi signed a new contract with the American club with an annual salary of 3.7 million euros. But, as it turned out, even such an impressive amount was not the limit for Martins.
In 2016, the striker moved to Shanghai Shenhua for 2.7 million euros, and Obafemi’s salary, who still competes in the Chinese championship, is $6.6 million a year. At the same time, the current transfer fee of the Nigerian is only 400 000 euros.
Now, in 2020, Martins is a player of another chinese club – Wuhan Zall.