Nigeria international Obafemi Martins hopes to continue banging goals for Major League Soccer (MLS) club Seattle Sounders after putting pen to the dotted lines on a contract extension.
Sounders confirmed on Tuesday Martins has signed a new multi-year deal extension; an occasion which coincided with the ex-Inter Milan and Newcastle striker’s 30th birthday.
“I’m glad I’m still going to be with the team for a long time,” Martins told reporters after training on Tuesday. “I feel at home here so I hope to continue doing well and helping the team.”
Martins, who scored 28 goals during his five-year spell with Italian Serie A side Inter and added 28 more while playing for English Premier League outfit Newcastle United, said the 2014 MLS season is an adjustment from his time in Europe.
“I enjoyed the time I played in Europe,” Martins said. “But the fact I’m here, I think I’m enjoying my game more. The fact that I’m doing well, scoring goals, I’m glad. I’m happy.”
The Super Eagles forward has tallied an all-time career high in terms of numbers of goals he has scored in a single season and has also set a club record with 17 goals and 13 assists, making him the favourite candidate for the 2014 MVP award.
“The first time I played here the only thing I said is ‘I’m trying to score goals and help the team win trophies,’” Martins added. “I didn’t plan for an MVP.”
Sounders have already clinched the Supporters’ Shield and US Open Cup and will be aiming for a treble of titles when they open their MLS Cup Playoffs at home on Sunday.
Seattle general manager Adrian Hanauer said Martins’ goal-scoring prowess this season left him with little options but to negotiate for more years with the player, and hopes he ends his career at Sounders.
“We’re very excited,” said Hanauer, who also addressed the media Tuesday at Starfire Soccer Complex. “Oba, obviously, has been fantastic this year, a huge part of the team. We’re happy to extend his deal, and hopefully he ends his career in Seattle. And who knows? Maybe he likes it so much he stays after [the extension is up].”
Martins has scored 18 times in 39 international appearances.