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Last Updated: Sunday, 30 May, 2004, 16:39 GMT 17:39 UK
Martins delighted with debut
By Tope Agboola
BBC Sport

Obafemi Martins
Martins's debut ended speculation he may play for Cameroon
Inter Milan's teenage striker Obafemi Martins has said that he is very happy to have finally played his first game for Nigeria.

The 19-year-old made his long awaited Super Eagles debut on Saturday in a 3-0 win over the Republic of Ireland, scoring the second goal, in the tri-nations Unity Cup tournament in London.

"I feel great wearing the Nigerian green, white and green colour for the first time," Martins told BBC Sport.

Martins, who has had a fine season with Italian giants Inter, had previously turned down invitations to playing the Super Eagles - although he had promised to be available for future engagements.

"Now I have put the past behind me, and at any time Nigeria call on me, I will make myself available," he added.

Martins' debut for Nigeria has now ended any hopes rival West African country Cameroon had of persuading the teenager to play for them.

Cameroon had named Martins in a squad for an Olympic qualifier, although he did not attend that match.

"It is not true that I am from Cameroon, I am a Nigerian and I remain loyal to my country," said Martins.

The stocky Martins was named Africa's Young Player Of The Year and scored 11 goals in Italian and European competitions for Inter in the just-concluded European season.


SEE ALSO
Rep of Ireland 0-3 Nigeria
29 May 04  |  Rep of Ireland
Cameroon select Martins
08 Feb 04  |  African



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