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Nigerian veteran Obafemi Martins returns to Shanghai aged 35

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Nigerian football player Obafemi Martins of Shanghai Greenland Shenhua celebrates after scoring a goal against Hebei China Fortune in their fourth round match during the 2018 Chinese Football Association Super League (CSL) in Shanghai, China, 31 March 2018. PHOTO:Reuters

Veteran Nigeria striker Obafemi Martins has rejoined Shanghai Shenhua, the Chinese FA Cup winners said on Wednesday, more than two years since his last competitive match.

The 35-year-old former Inter Milan and Newcastle United forward was without a club last year as he battled a hamstring injury.

His last game was in April 2018 for Chinese Super League side Shenhua, for whom he scored 32 goals in 59 matches during his previous spell.

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Shenhua did not say how long Martins’ new contract is for but he helps replace fellow Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo, who is on loan at Manchester United.

Martins, who turns 36 in October, hit 18 goals in 42 appearances for Nigeria before retiring from national duty.

Shenhua will open the delayed CSL season on July 25 against Fabio Cannavaro’s reigning champions Guangzhou Evergrande.

The CSL is kicking off five months late because of coronavirus.

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