- The former Super Eagles captain announced his retirement from professional football
- We’re taking a look at five key moments which helped define the legacy of Super Eagles legend, John Obi MIKEL.
1. Argentina 2-1 Nigeria – Netherlands 2005 WYC Final
This game, still fondly remembered after almost two decades was the one Nigerians stood up for Mikel. Mercurial, effervescent and efficient, the then 18-year old midfielder showed great offensive and orchestrating skills. The only blight on what could have been a perfect night was the presence of a far greater footballer, Lionel Messi. Although Nigeria lost the game, Mikel won many hearts.
2. Nigeria 2-0 Zimbabwe – Egypt 2006 AFCON
Head coach, Austin Eguavoen invited Mikel to the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations. He had little choice. Mikel's brilliance at the U20 World Youth Championships was too good to be ignored and on his AFCON debut, he scored one, and assisted Christian Obodo’s goal, in the 2-0 victory over Zimbabwe.
3. Chelsea 1 [4-3] 1 Bayern Munich - Munich 2012 UCL Final
John Mikel Obi played every minute of the 2012 UEFA Champions League final, helping Chelsea to the club's first ever UCL trophy, in dramatic fashion. This fear also made him the third and most-recent Nigerian to win "the trophy eith the big ears."
4. Nigeria 1-0 Burkina Faso – South Africa 2013 AFCON Final
By far the most important game of Mikel’s Super Eagles career, Mikel was pivotal to Nigeria winning its first AFCON in almost two decades and just its third in history. The skipper put in a Man of the Match performance, as Sunday Mba scored the goal to secure the victory.
5. Nigeria 3-2 Honduras – 2016 Olympics Third Place Match
In 2016, Mikel defied the warnings of then Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte, to lead the Nigerian Dream Team XI to the summer Olympics in Rio, Brazil. Mikel underlined his legendary status at the tournament as he led the team to a bronze medal finish despite playing in dire circumstances, including donating $30,000 of his own money, to help clear the team's travel debts and save them from missing out on the tournament entirely.
What is your favourite Mikel Obi moment ? Leave a comment below