Obafemi Martins : Gets Shanghai Shenhua’s Life Line

first_imgSHANGHAI, CHINA – FEBRUARY 08: Obafemi Martins #17 of Shanghai Shenhua drives the ball during the AFC Champions League 2017 play-off match between Shanghai Shenhua and Brisbane Roar at Hongkou Stadium on February 8, 2017 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images) Unfortunately however, Martins’ dream of a second World Cup hit the rock after he ruptured his hamstring playing for his Chinese club in what was expected to last six to seven months, but was taking forever.The 35-year-old has since been without a club and retirement was surely on the cards.However, in an unexpected twist, more than two years since his last competitive match, the former Inter Milan star made headlines again and rejoined Shenhua ahead of the 2020 Chinese Super League season which will belatedly start later this month due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Shenhua did not reveal the details of Martins’ contract in the official statement, but it is widely believed that he has signed a short-term deal after being tasked to fill the boots of his compatriot Odion Ighalo, whose loan deal at Manchester United has been extended until next year. Obafemi Martins is back in football and rejoins the Chinese Super League.Shanghai Shenhua official website has received huge plaudits since Ighalo swapped Shenhua for United. At the end of last month, he scored his fifth goal for the Premier League powerhouse at Carrow Road, becoming the first United player in 95 years to score in their first four competitive starts.Martins, meanwhile, netted 32 goals in 59 appearances during his impressive first stint at Shenhua and played an extremely crucial role in helping the club clinch the Chinese FA Cup title in 2017.He also scored 18 goals for Nigeria before retiring from national duty.Martins’ arrival will undoubtedly add firepower to Shenhua, who will play their season opener against defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande on July 25.The 35-year-old striker rejoins the Chinese Super League outfit on a free transfer in the wake of his compatriot’s loan deal extension at Old Trafford having left Seattle Sounders in 2015, Martins scored 32 goals in 59 games across all competitions for the Chinese heavyweights, while playing a key role in the Hongkou Football Stadium giants’ Chinese FA Cup success in 2017.However, he left the Shanghai-based team in 2018 after suffering a hamstring injury, and has been without a club ever since.Martins’ return will strengthen Choi Kang-hee men’s attack ahead of the resumption of the Chinese Super League.The former Super Eagles striker recently told Goal that retirement was not on his agenda despite being without a club since leaving Shanghai in 2018.“After my career-threatening injury in China, many people advised me to quit, but I told myself I still have a lot to offer the beautiful game,” he told Goal. “Football is my life; I eat, drink and sleep football so I don’t see any reason to call time on something that makes me happy.“I’m 34, but I feel like a teenager, and with this sensation, I can still play for any big team across the world. I’m thankful for what I have achieved in football but I thirst for more.“That desire is still there, the desire to score more goals and win more titles. For my next move, I have got offers from the United States, China and Saudi Arabia but I will only move when I see the right bargain.”After featuring for Reggiana and Inter Milan in Italy, Martins joined Newcastle United in 2006 and helped them win the Intertoto Cup in the same season.He also represented Wolfsburg, Rubin Kazan, Birminham City and Levante before moving to Seattle Sounders in 2016.In international football, Martins scored on his Nigeria debut in May 2004, against the Republic of Ireland, and ended his Super Eagles career with 18 goals from 42 appearances.Martins was a part of the Nigerian team that finished third at the 2006 African Cup of Nations scoring two goals in the competition, both coming against Senegal in the first round.Pix±: Obagol.jpgShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram During Nigeria’s preparation to the 2018 World Cup, Super Eagles Manager Gernot Rohr was fast to identify that scoring was one area the team would having issues and the searchlight for a potent striker was being turned on Obafemi Martins. But just as the voice for the recall of the former Inter Milan’s marksman was becoming stronger injury knocked him out of what would have been his second Mundial for Nigeria, and ever since his career had nosedived and retirement was looming. It however came as a shock to many that Obagol was signed by Shanghai Shenhua as a replacement for compatriots, Odion IghaloObafemi Martins is arguably one of the most travelled African players –having played in Italy for Reggiana and Inter Milan, in England for Newcastle and Birmingham City, in Germany for Wolfsburg, in Russia for FC Rubin Kazan and in Spain for Levante. In 2013, he move to the United State to play in the Major League and then to China to join the legion of Nigeria players.“I am not imposing players on Rohr, but I think the likes of Obafemi Martins can help strengthen the defective areas. He is an experienced player and he knows the in and out of Nigeria football,” Joseph Yobo had said of Martins before the 2018 World Cup in Russia.last_img read more

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Two Broward Officers Facing Probes for Making Racist Social Media Posts

first_imgMeanwhile, a similar situation is taking place in Miramar, after an officer there posted an expletive-filled message after the recent police-involved killing of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta.Miramar Sgt. Scott Nix said on social media, “If you, said criminal fights me and takes my taser and then try to use my taser on me … I will blow your (expletive) brains out. I will not apologize. (expletive) you and your family and all these (expletive) politicians and media.”Miramar Police said in a statement, “Our department does not condone behavior that is inconsistent, incompatible, or in conflict with the values established by this agency. We expect all of our employees to operate with the highest level of ethics and integrity.”In addition, a statement from BSO said, “The Broward Sheriff’s Office in no way condones opinions or statements that discredit an individual or reflect poorly on our agency. As a public service agency we must always hold ourselves to the highest standard of professionalism and accountability.”The statement continues, “The sergeant has been temporarily reassigned to administrative duty during an investigation into potential social media/social network policy violations.”Karlin has turned in his BSO identification and his weapon to the department. Nix has been relieved of duty, pending the outcome of an administrative investigation. Two South Florida law enforcement officers are facing investigations by their respective departments, after they allegedly made racist comments on their social media accounts.Comments posted on the page of Sgt. David Karlin, a Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy who has been with the agency for 24 years, have placed him on restricted duty.His social media posts claim, “What is privilege? Privilege is wearing $200 sneakers when you’ve never had a job … Privilege is wearing $300 Beats headphones while living on public assistance … Privilege is the ability to go march against and protest against anything that triggers you without worrying about calling out of work.”Another on of his posts says, “I’m sorry but if you are still struggling with slavery I’m still struggling with when the vikings invaded England in the eighth century and enslaved my relatives.”According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, Karlin is a jail supervisor.A third post by Darlin  includes a picture of a seagull on the beach, resting on a pair of basketball shoes. The text of the post reads, “Apparently this seagull got his stimulus check.”last_img read more

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Saunders pulls ‘trifecta’ by promoting, managing and winning at his own event

first_imgOn May 21, Rayco “War” Saunders, and Rayco War Promotions put on a boxing card at the Monroeville Convention Center billed as “War in the East.” The main event featured “War” Saunders who promoted, sold tickets and defended his WBF light heavyweight title by stopping Bruce Rumbolz, of Sterling, Ill., in the eighth round.From the first round Saunders was the aggressor. He came in with lefts to the body followed by rights to the head, leaving Rumbolz to cover up most of the fight. RAYCO SANDERS and son, JELANI, show they are champions. In the fourth round Saunders pivoted his body to launch a perfect left hook, bringing it up from just above his hips and landing it right in the bread basket and putting Rumbolz on the canvas.In the eighth round Saunders, who has a chiseled frame that would make Evander Holyfield jealous, began winging bombs and found success in chest-to-chest combat. He pounced on Rumbolz with the heavy artillery forcing referee Rick Steigerwald to stop the match and award Saunders a TKO victory.Saunders, who was fighting in Pittsburgh for only the second time in five years, entered the ring wearing a T-shirt with “I don’t chase dreams I catch ’em,” emblazoned across his back.Saunders was hatched from some of the roughest neighborhoods in Pittsburgh—-Northview Heights and Beltzhoover—-and grew up without most of the things the children of the suburbs take for granted.He was stabbed in the back at age 15 and shot in the chest at 21. He was arrested six times between 1994-97, and was incarcerated at Graterford State Prison, the same jail that former undisputed middleweight champion, Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins served out his sentence.Saunders recently received his promoter’s license and this was his first event. Was it hard to promote and fight at your own event?“Yes. It was much more difficult than I thought. I had to pay everybody, sell tickets and coordinate everything,” said Saunders. “But I knew it could be done because my friend Roy Jones Jr., promotes and fights at his events.”Players and coaches sometimes utter the phrase “peaking at the right time.” While that might sound cliché, the words have plenty of meaning, because it could describe co-main event and WBF cruiserweight champion Andres “Taylor Made” Taylor.Taylor, fighting out of Johnstown, Pa., defeated Chris Thomas of Chicago to raise his record to an impressive 14-1-1. Taylor won by a unanimous decision and both fighters fought their hearts out and finished the fight going toe-to-toe, leaving nothing for the dressing room as they received a loud standing ovation from the crowd at the final bell.“I want to fight every month this year,” said Taylor. “I had this fight tonight in May and I’m scheduled to fight again in three weeks in June and I have a fight in July. I’m only going to get better. I have a great new trainer in Tommy Yankello.”The glass chin award went to Jadall Wells of Akron who was knocked out in the first round by Damar Singleton of Toledo. Singleton was able to easily get through Wells’ marshmallow defense and put him down on the canvas with a phantom punch.Joe Divosevic, of North Hills, lost his pro debut to Keon Graham of Akron in a fight that could have gone either way.“This was the first time that I watched a boxing match live and I love it,” said model/actress “Bella” Lisa Smith. “My favorite fight was Andres Taylor and Chris Thomas.”Tongues were wagging as ring girls Olivia and Gabby moved to the beats by legendary DJ Biz Markie.“I love Pittsburgh,” said Biz Markie. “My cousin is Chuck Sanders so look for me to come back again and again.”Historian David McCullough, in his book “Brave Companions,” wrote that “at times I’ve not known for certain whether I wanted to go ahead with a story until I have been where it happened.” McCullough believes that to gain a better understanding of matter, a writer must understand the subject’s terrain.The city of Pittsburgh will get behind “War” Saunders, because his brain is like a highly strung crossbow, designed to be aimed before hitting its target.Saunders doesn’t chase dreams. He catches them.last_img read more

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Black Friday Football Rivalry Bigger Than The Game

first_imgBy Chris Rotolo |Thanksgiving may be about friends, family and feasting.But for those in the Two River area who like to get out and throw around a football, the day after Thanksgiving is all about “the Rivalry.”For the past six years, the Rivalry Series flag football knockout tournament has pitted town against town in a good-natured Black Friday competition that also raises serious money for Lunch Break of Red Bank.This year, the 2018 edition will include an even larger field of participants. Joining Little Silver, Shrewsbury, Fair Haven and Rumson will be squads from Middletown, Monmouth Beach, Oceanport and Red Bank.“The past couple of years we’ve started to include more and more people from different communities and the word continues to spread, and the interest grows,” said Rivalry Series organizer Rick Brandt of Little Silver.The games will kick off Friday, Nov. 23 at Count Basie Field in Red Bank and run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Children from different towns will play each other at grade level. There is also a division for women and another for men 18-34 and over 35.The first games will pit Little Silver against Shrewsbury, Red Bank against Middletown, Rumson against Fair Haven and Oceanport against Monmouth Beach.In the beginning, it was just a group of Little Silver friends who took to the turf for some post-holiday pickup football. The opposing team was from neighboring Shrewsbury.“When we first started playing as 12-year-olds back in 2002, I’m not sure we ever thought it would get to this point,” Brandt said. “Bragging rights were all we were worried about back then. But it’s come a long way.”Brandt learned early on about Little Silver’s deeply embedded, but friendly, rivalry with Shrewsbury.“When you’re growing up in those towns, the rivalry is seen and felt everywhere,” Brandt said. “It’s in your recreational sports. It’s in the schools. It’s everywhere you look.”“The funny thing about it is, you play against those guys for so long in so many different organized sports and pickup games that you actually start to like them,” Brandt said with a laugh. “Then you get to high school and your sharing classes with them and you can’t figure out why you were ever rivals in the first place.”Brandt said as the friendships grew, so did the traditional game itself. In their high school years, friends and family began attending, some to tailgate, other to mingle, and all to lend voice to their respective cheering sections.In college, though the distance between them increased, it was the game that helped maintain the bond between the friends. And each year the audience continued to grow.In 2013, Athlete’s Alley of Shrewsbury starting equipping players with personalized team jerseys, giving the day its own uniform. Inspired by the all the participation, Brandt formed a partnership with Lunch Break and over the next two years raised nearly $2,000 for the organization though small donations from those who played in and attended the game.“It was a nice start, but I thought we could do more,” said Brandt.Between 2015 and 2017 the series’ organizers pledged $10,000 donations to Lunch Break and hit their mark each time.In 2016, the traditional game was expanded, offering games for men, women and children from Little Silver and Shrewsbury.Last year, players who participated in the RIvalry Series raised $10,000 for Lunch Break of Red Bank. Photo courtesy Rick BrandtThis year donations are pouring in and Brandt expects the Rivalry Series will have raised $50,000 for Lunch Break by week’s end.One day, Brandt, working with his brother Rob Brandt, would like to see Rivalry Series expand even more and include teams from every part of Monmouth County.“We’re calling it the Rivalry Series, and we did that on purpose, because I’m not sure I want to limit this to just football,” Brandt said.“Down the line, I have no doubt that we can run basketball and softball events and have them be successful. There are so many different sporting events we can launch and then you’re really talking about a lot of money being raised and a lot of good being done in our community.”Rivalry Series Schedule of EventsFriday, Nov. 23The GamesBoys & Girls (3rd & 4th grade), 9 a.m.Boys & Girls (5th & 6th grade), 9 a.m.Boys & Girls (7th & 8th grade), 9 a.m.Men 35 & older, 11 a.m.Women 18 & older, 1 p.m.Men 18-34 years old, 3 p.m.After PartyVal’s in Rumson, 7-10 p.m.For more information or to register for competition visit therivalryseries.com.This article was first published in the Nov. 22-27, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.last_img read more

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