Former Super Eagles forward Osaze Odemwingie has announced his retirement from football after about two years without a club.
Odemwingie who played 63 times for the Super of Nigeria has been without a club since 2017 when he played for Madura United in Indonesia.
He worked as a pundit for Kwese Sports during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. The 37-year-old announced his retirement from football at UEFA’s Equal Game conference which was held at Wembley on Wednesday, April 3.
“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” he said according to Sky Sports.
“Wembley is a place with a lot of history in football.” Odemwingie also revealed that he intends to be a coach and hopes to one day get a job in the Premier League.
The forward made his Super Eagles debut in May 2002 but it was at the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) that he first came to prominence with a late brace in Nigeria’s 4-0 win over South Africa.
Then 21-year-old, Odemwingie caught the eyes at that AFCON tournament but missed a crucial penalty in Nigeria’s shootout loss to host Tunisia in the semifinals.
He went on to play in three other AFCON tourneys where Nigeria finished third but missed out on AFCON 2013 after he was dropped from the squad after falling out with coach Stephen Keshi.
He represented Nigeria at two FIFA World Cup tournaments and scored one goal. Osaze Odemwingie scored one World Cup goal for Nigeria, in Super Eagles 1-0 win over Bosnia in Brazil 2014 (AP) Osaze Odemwingie scored one World Cup goal for Nigeria, in Super Eagles 1-0 win over Bosnia in Brazil 2014 (AP)
He later went on his Instagram to talk about his decision to retire. “Never an easy decision for any player but yesterday I announced my retirement from the beautiful game,” he wrote.
“This game gave me friends from all over the world and is a strong force that unites people of all races, nations, tribes, religions and faiths,” part of his statement on Instagram reads.
After spending his early days in Uzbekistan and Russia, Odemwingie started his career with Bendel Insurance in Nigeria before a move to Belgium.
He spent three years in Belgium with La Louviere before moving to France to play for Lille for three seasons before he joined Lokomotiv Moscow in Russia.
After four years with Lokomotiv, he joined Premier League side, West Brom, where he was impressive, scoring 15 league goals in his debut season and winning two Premier League Player of the Month awards.
The following season, he scored 11 goals in all competitions for the Baggies and an additional Premier League Player of the Month award.
His influence waned in the next season although he continued to impress for West Brom before he tried to force a move to Queens Park Rangers on deadline day of the 2013 Winter transfer window.
After his head turned following an interest from Queens Park Rangers, Odemwingie fell out with West Brom and attacked them on Twitter as he tried to force a move.
The drama peaked when he drove himself to the Queens Park Rangers’ ground Loftus Road without the permission of the club to sign for the club. He was however, refused entry and was forced to return to West Brom.
He was disciplined by West Brom although he managed to get back into the team before he was sold to Cardiff City in September 2013.
Osaze Odemwingie played for three Premier League clubs including Cardiff City Osaze Odemwingie played for three Premier League clubs including Cardiff City
He didn’t hit the heights of his West Brom days and left Cardiff City after falling out of favour with then new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
He joined Stoke City in January 2014 where he couldn’t make much impact. After spending time on loan at Bristol City, he was released by the club.
Osaze Odemwingie also had a stint at Stoke City in England Osaze Odemwingie also had a stint at Stoke City in England
He joined League One club Rotherham United before his stint in Indonesia with Madura United.