Obafemi Martins, who have not been selected by managers of the Super Eagles since Coach Sunday Oliseh picked him for the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier against Swaziland in 2015, has declared his readiness to return to the team if recalled to the team, reports owngoalnigeria.com.
The former Inter-Milan, Newcastle United and Wolfsburg forward, who now plays for Chinese side, Shanghai Shenhua, believes at 32, he can still contribute his own quota to the Super Eagles if called up by coach Gernot Rohr, although he respects the fact that young players need to be given their chance in the team.
“I never am through with international football. If the new coach of Nigeria Gernot Rohr needs me, I will gladly honour his call. I am fitter than ever,” Martins said.
“You have to respect the quality of the young players, who are coming through with the national team, they deserve to be given their chance in the team.
“Playing in China is way higher than in the past, we now have top model professionals in the league, so it’s no longer a case of if you go to China, you are winding down your career,” he added.
Martins, who made his debut for the Super Eagles in 2005, has in recent times shown better desire to play for Nigeria than he did in the past. Many pundits believe Nigeria, instead of Angola, would have qualified for the 2006 World Cup if Martins and some other players had been committed to the qualifiers won by the Palancas Negras.
However, he is on record as one of the most lethal strikers every to have donned the green jersey.
Nicknamed ‘weapon of mass destruction’ or ‘Obagoal’ by journalists, Martins played for Nigeria at the Egypt 2006, Ghana 2008 and Angola 2010 African Nations Cup competitions, as well as the South Africa 2010 World Cup.