Former player Lyn Oslo, Chelsea, Middlesbrough, and Super Eagles, John Mikel Obi, discussed how he would have left the 2013 national team, but eventually changed his mind and left six years later.
Mikel Obi, the most decorated player in Nigeria with awards such as the Carling Cup, EPL, UEFA Champions League and AFCON among his accolades, eventually said goodbye to the national team after thirteen years of finishing third at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in the Super Eagles.
Mikel took part in five separate Africa Cup of Nations and captained the Super Eagles for much of his career before he hung up his boots for the national team in June 2019, but is now playing for Turkey’s Trabzonspor.
Mikel, who had a spat with head coach Gernot Rohr during the last AFCON, believes he had to retire to give the young ones a chance and allow himself to focus on club football.
I spent 13 years representing the national team, most of the captain. We have achieved significant achievements as a group in this era, “Mikel said in an interview with the official magazine of Trabzonspor.
I wanted to leave for the first time in 2013 but I decided to continue as a result of our discussions with the authorities.”
Mikel decided to retire from the national team as he wanted to give a chance to the younger players and concentrate on his career as a manager.
We’ve got very talented young players right now. All of them are bright. I think the challenges can be handled by these players. I had to give them room.
Apart from that, I don’t have many years in front of me for football. I want to reflect on the rest of my squad, “added Mikel.
Mikel played 89 games for Nigeria, making him behind Vincent Enyeama and Joseph Yobo the third most capped player in the state.