Former Nigerian International, Peter Osaze Odemwingie has announced his retirement from football at UEFA’s Equal Game conference at Wembley yesterday.
The 37-year-old striker, who once plied his trade with West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City in the English Premiership, made his debut for the Nigeria national team, the Super Eagles in 2002.
He represented the country over 60 times, including two World Cups and four Africa Cup of Nations, as well as winning a silver medal at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
Peter Osaze Odemwingie
Aside scoring for Nigeria’s Super Eagles at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Odemwingie scored 36 goals in 129 Premier League appearances between 2010 and 2016.
He was the subject of a peculiar story on Deadline Day in January 2013. Believing he was moving to Queens Park Rangers (QPR) from West Brom, the striker drove to Loftus Road, but was refused entry to the stadium after both clubs said no fee had been agreed.
This botched move to QPR saw him falling out of favour with Steve Clarke and was thereafter sold to Cardiff City in August 2013 for a £2.25 million fee. He spent six months at Cardiff before joining Stoke City in a player-exchange with Kenwyne Jones in January 2014.
On his retirement, 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, whose last professional appearances came for Indonesian side Madura United in 2017, said 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
Born on July 15, 1981, Odemwingie played as a forward and winger during his professional career. He grew up in Uzbekistan and Russia and began his playing career with Bendel Insurance in the Nigeria Premier League.
Earning a move to European football with Belgian side, La Louvière, he spent three seasons there before moving on to French side, Lille.
Odemwingie scored 26 goals for Lille, a feat prompted interest from Lokomotiv Moscow that coughed out a £10 million fee for his services in July 2007.
In his three-and-a-half years stint with Lokomotiv, he scored 23 times before leaving for English side West Brom in August 2010.
His sojourn in England saw him scoring 30 Premier League goals for the Baggies and in the process won him three Premier League Player of the Month awards.