Mikel Obi Announces Retirement From Football After 20 Years
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By Amaechi Agbo
On August 17, 2005, John Mikel Obi made his debut for the Nigeria senior team, Super Eagles when he came on as a second-half substitute in a 1–0 friendly win over Libya and went on to rap 91 caps for the national team and after playing for eight different clubs in three continents, the former Stoke City player has announced his retirement from football.
The former Chelsea star announced his retirement on Tuesday saying; “There is a saying that all good things must come to an end and for my professional football career, that day is today.”
Mikel who retied at the age of 35, said he was satisfied with his football odyssey and thanked his family, clubs, managers, teammates and fans for their support.
“I look back at the past 20 years of my career, and I must say that I am very satisfied with all that I was able to achieve and more importantly the human it has helped shape.
“All of this would not have been possible without the unwavering support of my family, managers, clubs, coaches, teammates and most importantly my ever-loyal fans. You supported me through my highs and lows, even on days that I did not live up to your expectations. I say a big thank you.
“I will also like to encourage everyone who I may have inspired one way or the other in the course of my career to never give up on their dreams, for every time you think about quitting, remind yourself why you started,” he said.
The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON winner hinted on returning to the round leather game in a different capacity
“This is not goodbye, it’s the start of another journey, another chapter of my life. I look forward to what the future holds and I hope you will walk with me. Thank you.”
Mikel who began his career with Plateau United 2002-2004, joined Lyn of Norway from 2002 to 2006 from there he joined Chelsea where his career blossomed as he spent 11 seasons from 2006 to 2017.
He left Europe and went to Asia with Tianjin TEDA in the Chinese Super League before he made a return to England in the Championship with Middleborough for a short stint in 2019.
Hé joined Turkish side Trabzonspor in 2019-2020 season before he returned to the English Championship with Stoke City for the 2020-2022 season. His final club was Kuwait SC in 2021
During his 14-year international football with the Super Eagles, Mikel made 91 appearances and found the back of the net on 6 occasions.
He won the UEFA Champions League and Europa League once each with Chelsea, recordrd two EPL triumphs and there FA Cup crowns including one Carabao Cup and Community Shield apiece in his 11 years in West London
He also won the Turkish Cup not excluding the fact that he is an Olympic medallist after winning bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympics football event