Obafemi Akinwunmi Martins was born on 28 October, 1984. He is a Nigerian footballer who plays as a forward for Shanghai Greenland Shenhua. He is known for his speed on the ball. Martins has two brothers who also played football professionally. His elder brother, Oladipupo Martins, played for Reggiana, Partizan and Innsbruck before retiring from football in 2009 due to heart problems. He died on 8 August 2011 of a suspected heart attack in Lagos, Nigeria. Martins’ younger brother is John Ronan Martins. The name “Obafemi” translates literally to “the king loves me” in the Yoruba.
After leaving Nigeria for Italy at age 16, he has since played for a number of top-division clubs around Europe. He began his senior career in 2002 at the Italian Serie A club Inter Milan, before moving to the English Premier League club Newcastle in 2006, and then the German Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg in 2009. Having joined Russian Premier League side Rubin Kazan in July 2010, they loaned him to Birmingham City in January 2011.
Martins was a part of the Nigerian team that finished third in the 2006 African Cup of Nations. Martins scored two goals in the competition, both coming against Senegal in the first round. His future for the national team has been placed in doubt on numerous occasions after separate incidents of controversy. In August 2006, the Nigerian FA (NFA) website had his date of birth down as 1 May 1978, which would have made him 28 years of age rather than 21. The NFA soon confirmed that it had been an administrative error and apologized for the confusion it had caused. Martins threatened to quit playing for the national team after the blunder had initially put his move to Newcastle in doubt.