Nigeria’s Odemwingie set to shine
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