Obafemi Martins may be having a season worthy of MVP consideration. He may be poised for a significant raise. He may be among the best players in the entire Western Hemisphere. But he shouldn't be holding his breath while waiting for a call-up to the Nigeria national team.
Despite Martins recently stating his desire to rejoin the Super Eagles for the first time in about 18 months, Nigeria head coach Stephen Keshi suggested he's all but closed the door at that possibility.
"For Obafemi Martins, it's good to indicate interest to play for his country, as a former player of course," Keshi said according to Nigerian publication Vanguard. "But we have other players out there in his position, younger players. So we have to give younger players a chance and the opportunity to grow."
Martins' place with the national team has been less than secure at various times, but particularly since he was part of the 2010 World Cup side that crashed out with just one point. Keshi took over shortly after that and Martins has only received two caps since then. His most recent was on March 23, 2013, almost immediately after he had signed with the Sounders. He had expressed hope that his health and form at the start of the year would be enough to get him to Brazil, but Keshi never gave much indication Martins was in his plans.
These quotes are simply confirmation that as long as Keshi is in charge, there's virtually nothing Martins can do to get back into the Super Eagles' plans.