Nige­ria’s Odemwingie set to shine

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

THE 2010 African Na­tions Cup is com­ing at the right time for Peter Osaze Odemwingie. This will be his fourth Na­tions Cup and it comes at a time when the 28-yearold Nige­ria striker is play­ing his best foot­ball at this level.

Born of a Nige­rian fa­ther and a Rus­sian mother, “Osas” made his full in­ter­na­tional de­but at a friendly against Kenya in May 2002, but it was at the 2004 Na­tions Cup in Tu­nisia that he an­nounced his ar­rival on the in­ter­na­tional scene with two well-taken strikes against South Africa.

For sev­eral years he had to play sec­ond fid­dle to the likes of Julius Agha­howa, Yakubu Aiyeg­beni, Obafemi Martins and John Utaka.

But it now ap­pears Osas has fi­nally es­tab­lished him­self in the team af­ter some solid show­ings this year as the Su­per Ea­gles booked their flight to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

In 2002, af­ter nar­rowly miss­ing the cut for that year’s World Cup, he moved to Bel­gian club La Lou­viere in Bel­gium, and there­after to mod­est French club Lille, where he be­gan to fea­ture in the Uefa Cham­pi­ons League against top teams like Manch­ester United.

How­ever, when ev­ery­thing pointed to him mak­ing a trans­fer to ei­ther the English Premier League or the Ital­ian top flight, Odemwingie chose to join Lo­co­mo­tiv Moscow.

“I am happy play­ing in Rus­sia, it’s a great place to work and live. My club is one of the best in the Rus­sian league,” he of­fered.

“The English League is re­ally great and I would surely con­sider an of­fer from there, even though I am happy where I am now.”

Coach Chris­tian Chukwu, who gave Osas his first break­through at the Na­tions Cup in Tu­nisia six years ago, praised him, say­ing: “He has the right at­ti­tude, and is al­ways will­ing to learn. It is a huge ad­van­tage to have a player like him in any team.” – Sapa-AFP

Peter Odemwingie

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