By Amosu Adeboye
Nigeria forward Obafemi Martins has no immediate plans to retire from football and will not rush to decide his next destination.
Martins 35, who played for English clubs Newcastle United and Birmingham City, has been searching for a new club since his recovery from a torn hamstring injury in May.
”I love football and I’m still passionate about it, so retirement thoughts haven’t crossed my mind,” Martins told the BBC.
”I cannot rush into the next club because at this stage I can make important decisions for myself and my body.
”I want to enjoy the game and when I find the right place it will not be a difficult thing to do,” he added.
Martins scored 32 goals and provided nine assists in 59 appearances for his last club – Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua – before a season-ending injury in April 2018.
The former Inter Milan and Levante forward moved to China from Major League Soccer (MLS) side Seattle Sounders in February 2016, and achieved domestic success in Asia.
He scored in both legs of the Chinese FA Cup final to help Shanghai Shenhua win the 2017 FA Cup.
It is the first time since he began his professional career in 2001 that Martins has been without a club.
He burst into the international limelight at Italian side Inter Milan before switching to Newcastle in August 2006.
Martins scored 35 goals in his three seasons with the Magpies, later joining Birmingham City on loan in 2011.
The striker, who has also had spells in Germany, Russia and Spain, will be remembered for scoring Birmingham City’s winner in their 2-1 Carling Cup final victory over Arsenal in 2011 – the club’s first silverware since 1963.
Nigeria’s fifth all-time top scorer with 18 goals, he played in three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments in 2006, 2008 and 2010, as well as the Fifa World Cup in 2010.
His last appearance for the Super Eagles was in March 2013.