Ranti Martins, arguably one of the best ever foreigners to have graced Indian football, has decided to hang up his boots due to a prolonged injury problem, according to several reports. The Nigerian striker, who was last seen in action for American Soccer League side Maryland SGFC Eagles, was a proven goal-scorer in the I-League and was much revered by his peers and pundits alike.
Ranti first came to India when he signed for Goa-based Dempo SC back in 2004, the rest, as they say, is history. By the time he left Indian shores for Malaysia in 2016, he had a number of I-League (previously known as National Football League) records to his name — including the highest number of goals in a single match (7), the most number of goals in a single season (32), as well as the highest number of goals across all seasons of the I-League (214).
During his 12-year span in the country, Ranti won 5 NFL/I-League titles (3 of which were back to back) with Dempo where he formed a formidable partnership with Brazilian mideo Beto. He also helped the team win the Federation Cup in 2004 and the Durand Cup in 2006. In 2008, the lethal striker played a vital role in Dempo’s run to the semifinals in the AFC Cup.
When he scored 32 goals in the 2010-11 I-League season for Dempo, only 6 of the 13 remaining teams had scored more than him. In the very same season, Dempo registered the highest number of goals in a season (63). Later on, Ranti would also turn out for Prayag United, Rangdajied United, East Bengal and Indian Super League (ISL) franchise FC Goa.
Currently, Ranti, 33, is settled in the United States and has also started a real estate business, which he plans to pursue post-retirement.