Nigerian-born professional footballer Obafemi Martins a.k.a Obagoal, is one of the few football stars that rarely make it to the Twitter trend table. But on Monday night, March 1, 2021, an interesting drama took place after Rapper CDQ chastizing Burna Boy for disrespecting the footballer. It’s no secret that Burma Boy eats pride and arrogance for breakfast, lunch, and supper. Many times he has been allowed to go scot-free, but with Obafemi Martins, Nigerians, however, were having none of it this time. They took to dragging Burna Boy for all that it’s worth. As expected, Nigerians have since concluded that while Burna Boy may be the giant in the Afrobeat industry, he is a pauper where football legend Obafemi Martins is concerned.
Press Play to watch the video version
Without a doubt, Obafemi Martins is one of the best footballers to come out of the most populous black nation. Famous for his goal-scoring talent, speed like a bulletproof, and acrobatic display on the field, he is celebrated as a legend across the African continent. Since his Twitter trend, the spotlight had been on him. But we ask, Why does he have us many supporters? What is his net worth? What are the highpoints of his career? What was his early life like? Where does he still play football? What is his lifestyle outside football?
Early Life and Career
Born Obafemi Akinwummi Martins on October 28, 1984, the footballer was raised by his parents in Lagos. He completed his primary and secondary school education in Lagos while spending some of his holidays in Ogun State known as his hometown. He started showing signs of football talent at a very young age, but neither he nor his parents took it seriously, making him settle for playing on the streets with friends and family. His fortune, however, changed in 1999 as he played on the streets of his hometown in Ogun State. Churchill Oliseh, the local football club manager, FC Ebedei, discovered he was talented and scouted to the club. At this time, he was 25 years of age.
Like many football stars, he was forced to choose between a football career and a university education. But that is old news now since we all know he forfeited a university education for his blazing football career. In 1999 he kick-started his career in Ijebu-Ode Ogun State-based football club, Ebedei. Barely a year later, at the age of 16, in the year 2000, he dumped the club for a top-rated Italian club, Reggiana, setting a precedent only legends like himself can boast of. Fast forward to today, Martins boasts of playing for several top-rated clubs in Europe and Asia, including Inter Milan, Newcastle United, VFL Wolfsburg, Rubin Kazan, Birmingham City, Levante, Seatle Sounders FC, and Shenhua.
Playing as a forward on the pitch, Obafemi Martins played for the Nigerian National team, better known as the Super Eagles, for 9 years. He started playing for the team in 2004 and retired from international football in 2015 with 18 goals out of 42 appearances to his credit. Martins is a household name in Nigeria, and his fame spreads across the African Continent. At the peak of his career, he was known to be one of the country’s fastest players. However, his speed on the ball, outstanding pace, athleticism, and goal-scoring ability, despite his small stature, made him one of the most sought-after footballers in history. Aside from the goals he scored for the Nigerian national team, he had about 183 goals to his credit and still counting.
The football star took a break from active football in 2018 due to a hamstring injury. In September 2020, he returned to active football and currently plays his trade in the Chinese Super League club, Wuhan Zall as a free agent.
Martins is not the only member of his family to play football professionally. His two brothers towed professional football part before life got in the way. His elder brother, Oladipupo Martins, played for Innsbruck and Reggiana Paryizan for years before retiring in 2009 over a heart problem. He would later give up the ghost on August 8, 2011, due to a suspected heart attack. His younger brother, John Ronan Martins, played locally for a few years before hanging his boots.
Obafemi Martins has over 15 awards to his credit. Due to his football talent, he remains of the most honoured and celebrated footballers in Nigeria. He has one Serie A title to his credit, two Italian Cup, and one Italian Super Cup. Also, he has a UEFA Intertoto Cup, Football League Cup, Russian Cup, Russian Super Cup, US Open Cup, and a Chinese FA cup, top goal scorer 2017 award to his credit. His many winning goals playing as super eagles earned him third place in the 2006 African Cup of Nations and two CAF awards for the year’s most promising talent. Three MLS awards have been conferred on him, including a 2014 MLS Best XI, 2014 MLS Goal of the year award, and 2015 MLS All-star award.
Obafemi Martins stakes his claim as one of the highest-paid footballers in Nigeria. According to Forbes’s updated 2021 list, he is worth 35 million dollars (over 14 billion Naira) and ranks second after Mikel Obi. In 2017, the football star was ranked number 20 among the highest-paid footballers in China. Playing for Wuhan Zall presently, Martins earns a whopping 165 thousand pound sterling weekly which, when converted to Naira, is over 87 million Naira.
Properties and Cars
With huge fortune comes an expensive taste for luxury cars and homes. Martins owns a fleet of luxury cars which he changes like clothes. This is not farfetched as with his fortune. He can acquire any modern or vintage car of his choice. He boasts of over 8 luxury cars, including a Mercedes Benz G-Class worth 112 million Naira, Lamborghini Aventador worth 162 million Naira, Bentley Bentayga worth 114 million Naira, Ferrari Spider worth 110 million, Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren worth 367 million Naira, Ferrari Lusso worth 65 million, Porsche Gemballa, and a BMW X6. There could be more, but these are all he has shown off so far.
The celebrated football star also owns several houses and properties, including a mansion in VGC valued at 500 million Naira and another in Como, Italy, worth 800 million Naira. That’s not all; he owns a luxury yacht, an Iguana 31 expedition worth 170 million Naira.
Lifestyle Outside Football
Martins has over 450 thousand followers on Instagram, who he entertains with his lavish lifestyles. When he is not playing football on the pitch, he is either partying with friends or at the gym to keep fit. This is also not forgetting he loves spending time with his family and celebrating their big wins together. Speaking about his family.
Marriage and Kids
The 36-year-old football player had 4 children with 3 different women. He surprisingly settled down with his 3rd baby mama Abigail Barwuah in 2017 after dating for 5 years. His Ghanaian-Italian wife is the older sister of football star Mario Balotelli. Today, they have two beautiful children together, Kendrick and Tyler Martins.
Martins first son with one of his past lovers, Itunuoluwa Kelvin Maussi Martins, turned 16 in January 2021. Towing in his father’s path, he currently plays with Inter Milan’s youth setup and Italian under-17 team.
Obafemi Martins is reportedly one of the most generous football stars in Nigeria. He reportedly gives to charity and supports upcoming talented footballers without sponsors. He runs a charity organization, Obafemi Martins Foundation, where he gives to the less privileged in Nigerian society. In 2017, he reportedly donated 1000 wheelchairs to people living with disabilities and, on many occasions, partnered with his colleagues for charity purposes, including Asisat Oshoala.
Apart from his charity organization, Martins once gifted BBnaija star Khloe a brand new Toyota Corrolla in 2018. His wife, Abigail, defended his actions, saying she is a good girl and deserves it.
Picture credit/Obafemi Martins Instagram