Obafemi Martins took to social media to confirm his intention to leave the Seattle Sounders for Shanghai Shenhua of the Chinese Super League.
Obafemi Martins took to social media Wednesday to confirm his intention to leave the Sounders for Shanghai Shenhua of the Chinese Super League.
There has yet to be official confirmation from either club on the deal — reportedly featuring a transfer fee worth $2 million — but it would appear as though a final few pieces of paperwork are all that stand between Martins and an overseas move.
Martins scored 40 goals in 72 MLS games for the Sounders, finishing second in league MVP voting in 2014. Seattle’s most consistent scorer since he joined in early 2013, the 31-year-old looks set to join his ninth club.
“Thank you Seattle,” Martins wrote on Twitter. “Thank you for everything. Thank you for the memories that will last a lifetime. Thank you for the endless love and support, during good times and bad. Thank you to my teammates and coaches for always believing in me.
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“Something I feel strongly about is challenging myself. When I came to Seattle, it was for the challenge. The challenge of playing in an unknown environment. I can wholeheartedly say that I seized the opportunity in Seattle and gave everything I had for the club.
“For me it’s now time for a new challenge. After significant reflection, I have decided to join Shanghai Greenland Shenhua FC of the CSL. When I left Nigeria for Italy at age fifteen with the hopes of a pro career, I put everything on the line. I was immersed in an unknown culture. It may be difficult to understand or relate to, but I’ve grown to appreciate the feeling I get when entering environments where I’m not a proven footballer.
“Seattle will always have a special place in my heart.”