The Prayag United striker spoke to Goal.com after earning an honourable mention in this week's World Player of the Week...Ranti Martins has been in the Indian football scene for a long time now. In that time the 26-year old Nigerian has won trophies, achieved milestones, won over a legion of fans and of course scored goals by the bucketful.
The former Dempo striker registered his name on the scoresheet five times in Prayag United's ruthless demolition of United Sikkim SC and earned himself an honourable mention in Goal.com's World Player of the Week that featured the likes of Manchester United's Javier Hernandez, Napoli's Edinson Cavani and Ajax's Siem de Jong.
"It's a pleasure to be recognised along with some of the best strikers in the world. It's something I can share about. It's been possible because of my team-mates, family and well wishers. I hope to continue performing at the same level for my club," said Ranti to Goal.com.
Ranti had an extremely successful spell at Dempo where he spent eight years under the astute eyes of Armando Colaco. He had already written himself into Dempo folklore but his move to Prayag United SC was a hard pill to swallow for many of his fans. "It was difficult at first as I had spent so many memorable years in Goa. It took me some time to adjust but ultimately I did and now I'm extremely happy. It is a privilege to play for Prayag," revealed the Nigerian striker.
"My fans were livid about my move from Dempo. I have heard a lot that it was financially motivated. I had achieved a lot at Dempo. The money at Dempo was good too and they are a great club. But I felt that I needed motivation to continue playing at the highest level. Hence I decided to move to Prayag United," said the Prayag United hitman.
It was at Prayag United that Ranti Martins achieved the iconic landmark of scoring 150 I-League goals. "Glory be to God that I managed to achieve something so huge. It could have never happened without the support of my teammates at Dempo, coaches, family and my well wishers. I would like to thank them all. They made it possible," he expressed his gratitude.
|Ranti Martins has hit the ground running at Prayag United SC|
His goalscoring exploits have caught the eye of clubs in Europe and also the Nigerian national team. Ranti had trials at Irish club Bohemian FC and Norweigian club IK Start but was not offered a contract. He however remains optimistic about being selected for the national team.
"Usually to be considered for the national team you have to play for a team in Europe, but the new coach Stephen Keshi is giving chances to a lot of local players. They have kept an eye on my performances here in India too. My name is running around the circles back home and I hope to get selected to play for the team someday," said the former Dempo striker.
Martins has played under three extremely experienced coaches in Armando Colaco, Sanjoy Sen and now Eelco Schattorie. When asked how different was it under the Dutchman when compared to Colaco and Sen, the Nigerian said, "I have immense respect for Armando Colaco and Sanjoy Sen. They helped me better my game. But now I'm playing under a UEFA A-licensed coach in Eelco Schattorie. The training is different now. There is a lot of emphasis on discipline. He is a very smart and organized coach. I think he's going to take the league by storm," opined Martins.
When asked who was his favourite player, Ranti, like many others in the world, gets mesmerized whenever Barcelona's Lionel Messi plays. "He's just amazing. I love watching him and Barcelona play. I have been a fan of Barcelona ever since I was a teenager. I love the way they go about their business in such a disciplined fashion. Watching them play has helped me mature as a footballer," signed off Ranti
How do you stay up with football when on the move? With http://m.goal.com –your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.