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How Inter Milan, Newcastle United and Fifa celebrated Obafemi Martins at 36

The Serie A and Premier League outfits have sent heartfelt messages to the former Super Eagles forward who marked his birth on Wednesday

Inter Milan led the football world to felicitate with former Nigeria international Obafemi Martins who turned 36 on Wednesday.

Famous for his acrobatic goal celebrations, the striker began his football career at Nigerian side FC Ebedei before moving to Reggiana. After one season with the Maroons, he was snapped up by Inter in 2001 for a transfer fee worth €750,000.

Having scored 23 goals for the club’s youth team in his maiden season, he was drafted to the senior team by manager Hector Cuper to compete in a star-studded attacking setup that paraded the likes of Hernan Crespo, Gabriel Batistuta and Alvaro Recoba.

Before moving to Newcastle United after five seasons with the San Siro giants, he won one Serie A title, two Coppa Italia as well as the Supercoppa Italiana diadem in 2005.

At St. James’ Park, he scored 28 goals in 88 games while playing a crucial role in the Magpies’ Uefa Intertoto Cup triumph in 2006.

He left for German side Wolfsburg in 2009, before featuring for Rubin Kazan, Birmingham City, Levante, Seattle Sounders and Shanghai Shenhua.

During his loan spell at Birmingham, Martins scored the winning goal in the 2011 Football League Cup Final as the Blues beat Arsenal 2–1 at Wembley Stadium, having been brought on as an 83rd-minute substitute.

He joined Chinese Super League side Wuhan Zall as a free agent in September 2020 after his departure from rivals Shenhua. There he was handed a one-year contract by the Han Army.

On the international scene, he made a scoring debut for Nigeria in a 2004 Unity Cup game against the Republic of Ireland.

Before drawing the curtain on his Super Eagles career, he featured in the 2006, 2008 and 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, as well as one Fifa World Cup final in 2010 – featuring in two games as Lars Lagerback’s men crashed out of the group stage that paraded the likes of Argentina, South Korea and Greece.

Below are tweets of how he was celebrated across the globe.





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