Osaze Odemwingie ends playing career

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Former Super Eagles striker Osaze Odemwingie has announced his retirement from football at the UEFA’s Equal Game conference at Wembley on Wednesday.

Odemwingie, 37, won 63 caps for Nigeria, scoring 10 goals for the Super Eagles. His first match came as a substitute in a 3–0 victory over Kenya on 4 May 2002.

He scored his first goal in the 2004 Nations cup qualifying match against Angola. In the finals, he scored in the 80th and 82nd minute against South Africa.

Speaking at UEFA’s Equal Game conference at Wembley, Odemwingie said: “It’s an emotional day, so many memories go through your head.

“I didn’t know how to do it or where to do it, but I think this is the right place to do it. Wembley is a place with a lot of history in football.”

Odemwingie, who played last for an Indonesian side, Madura United in 2017, revealed he intends to embark on a coaching career.

“The next chapter is slowly building up to a coaching career and hopefully, I will be coaching in the Premier League one day,” he said.

Odemwingie grew up in Uzbekistan and Russia and began his career with Bendel Insurance in the Nigeria Premier League.

He then earned a move to European football with Belgian side La Louvière where he spent three seasons before moving to French side Lille. Odemwingie scored 26 goals for Lille which prompted Lokomotiv Moscow to pay a fee of £10 million for his services in July 2007.

He scored 23 times in three-and-a-half years for Lokomotiv before leaving for English side West Bromwich Albion in August 2010. He scored 30 Premier League goals for the Baggies which won him three Premier League Player of the Month awards.

A failed move to Queens Park Rangers saw him fall out of favour with Steve Clarke and he was sold to Cardiff City in August 2013 for a fee of £2.25 million.

He spent six months at Cardiff before joining Stoke City in a player-exchange with Kenwyne Jones in January 2014.

Odemwingie scored 36 goals in 129 Premier League appearances between 2010 and 2016.

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Fido

•Sport writer/blogger • Media strategist •Good citizen of Nigeria and Social Media Evangelist and a core die hard Real Madrid fan.

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