Mikel Signs 2-Year Deal With Turkish Side Trabzonspor

Mikel To Miss Eagles AFCON Qualifier Against South Africa
Nigeria’s midfielder John Obi Mikel attends a press conference in Kaliningrad on June 15, 2018 during the Russia 2018 World Cup football tournament.
OZAN KOSE / AFP

 

Nigeria’s national team captain, John Mikel Obi has joined Turkish Super Lig club Trabzonspor on a two-year deal with the option of an additional one year.

Trabzonspor made the announcement on their website on Monday.

The Super Eagles Captain who is currently in Egypt for the Africa Cup of Nations became a free agent after leaving Championship side Middlesbrough in May.

“A 2 + 1-year agreement was signed with the free captain of the Nigerian National Team, Professional Footballer John Mikel Obi, with one-year option to transfer to our club.”

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The 32-year-old also played for Oslo-based club, Lyn Fotball in Norway, Premier League club Chelsea, and Chinese club Tianjin Teda

Mikel won the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and FA Community Shield with Chelsea FC.

He also helped the Super Eagles win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

Mikel has a total of 89 caps for Nigeria and played in the past two World Cups.

 

Yusuf Invites 26 Players For Super Eagles Friendlies

Super Eagles-Salisu Yusuf-Eagles FriendliesSuper Eagles Head Coach, Salisu Yusuf, has called up 26 players for the international friendlies against Mali and Luxembourg in Europe.

The three-time African champions would take on the Les Aiglons of Mali in France on May 27 before flying to Luxembourg to play the country’s national team on June 1.

Yusuf, who was installed as interim Head Coach by the Nigeria Football Federation last week, picked a relatively young squad that also includes former U-20 and former U-23 players.

All the invitees in the goalkeeper categories are: Carl Ikeme (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England), Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa), and Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Sunshine Stars).

The defenders invited are: Abdullahi Shehu (Uniao da Madeira, Portugal), Musa Muhammed (Istanbul Basaksehir, Turkey), Elderson Echiejile (AS Monaco, France), Kingsley Madu (AS Trencin, Slovakia), Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa SK, Turkey), Leon Balogun (Mainz 05, Germany), Gbenga Arokoyo (Gaziantepspor, Turkey), William Troost Ekong (Haugesund FC, Norway), and Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto, Portugal).

For the midfielders, players called up are: Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy), John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England), Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City, England), Wilfred Ndidi (KRC Genk, Belgium), Raheem Lawal (Osmanlispor FK, Turkey), and Etebo Oghenekaro (SC Farense, Portugal).

The players invited in the forward category are: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium), Victor Moses (West Ham United, England), Odion Ighalo (Watford FC, England), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England), Aminu Umar (Osmanlispor FK, Turkey), Aaron Samuel (CSKA Moscow, Russia), and Brown Ideye (Olympiakos FC, Greece).

Siasia Invites Balogun For Nigeria vs. Egypt Match

SiasiaCoach Samson Siasia has extended an invitation to FSV Mainz 05 of Germany defender, Leon Balogun, ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against the Pharaohs of Egypt.

The latest invitation brings to 21, the number of overseas–based players called for the games, including US-based Portland Timbers striker, Fanendo Adi, who has expressed delight at getting his first call-up for the Super Eagles.

Coach Siasia has also declared that only those who show guts and grit, and ability to adapt to conditions, would be selected to play against the Pharaohs.

The Super Eagles’ new boss stated that there would be no sentiments or consideration of previous ability as only the training sessions in Kaduna and Alexandria would be used to decide the 18 players on the roll for each game.

“These are two matches that we have to win. There would be no looking at what someone had done in the past, or current form at club level. If you are doing well at your club at the moment and you can’t show ferocious form in training and ability to adapt to the environment, then you would have no place.

“I am excited at the debate that has been generated by the team list. You can never satisfy everyone. The important thing is that we know the players we want for these big games and we have invited them, and we believe in them to deliver.”

The 1994 Africa Cup of Nations gold medallist gave the assurance that he has been speaking with all the players on the list and has received assurance that everyone is ready to give his all in both games.

“We continue to ask for the support of every Nigerian as we count down to the two matches. Our people should believe that we can do it, and we will do it.”

Nigeria host Egypt in Kaduna on Friday, March 25 and visit the Pharaohs in Alexandria on Tuesday, March 29 in two crucial 2017 Cup of Nations qualifiers. Egypt top the Group G table with six points, two more than the Eagles who are in second place.

Siasia Targets Defeat Of Egypt Home And Away

SiasiaSuper Eagles caretaker coach, Samson Siasia, insists his target is to beat Egypt both home and away in the African Cup of Nations Qualifiers later this month.

Coach Siasia, who was in charge of the team between December 2010 and October 2011, maintained that only the best players would be given opportunity in both matches from his 42 man list.

The home-based players are expected to arrive camp on March 6, before the overseas-based pros arrive from March 20.

The Lagos-born 48-year-old had invited 22 home–based professionals and 20 foreign–based players for the qualifying games against the Pharaohs of Egypt.

Siasia, who was named last week as Super Eagles’ Head Coach, passionately appealed to Nigerians, including the media, to support the team and show belief, as the Eagles host the Egyptians in Kaduna on March 25 and play away in Alexandria on March 29.

Siasia Invites 42 Players, Seeks Support For Super Eagles

SiasiaCoach Samson Siasia has invited 22 home–based professionals and 20 foreign–based players for Nigeria’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying games against the Pharaohs of Egypt this month.

Siasia, who was named last week as Super Eagles’ Head Coach, passionately appealed to Nigerians, including the media, to support the team and show belief as the Eagles host the Egyptians in Kaduna on Friday, March 25 and play away in Alexandria on Tuesday, March 29.

The 22 home boys are expected to hit camp in Abuja on Sunday, March 6 while the overseas –based players are expected to start arriving from Sunday, March 20.

“I want to passionately appeal to Nigerians, everybody, to show belief in the team and give us total support. It will not be easy, but if we stick together and present a united force to fight this battle, I believe we will triumph.

“I have absolute faith in the players. Nigeria is blessed with so many talented footballers across the world and I know that those we are inviting for this match will give everything for the six points in both matches. Personally, I will give everything that I have to offer for us to win both matches.”

The former Nigeria player, who was in the same position between December 2010 and October 2011, gave the assurance that only the best players who “showed ability to run and decimate the opposition” will be given opportunity in both matches.

Regulars Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Olufemi Thomas, Kalu Orji Okogbue, Austin Oboroakpo, Chima Akas, Ezekiel Bassey and Chisom Chikatara are in the home based mix, while Carl Ikeme, Efe Ambrose, Elderson Echiejile, Godfrey Oboabona, Kenneth Omeruo, John Mikel Obi, Ogenyi Onazi, Ahmed Musa, Victor Moses, Odion Ighalo, Moses Simon and Fanendo Adi are among the overseas –based legion.

Home–Based Professionals

Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Sunshine Stars); Olufemi Thomas (Enyimba FC); Emmanuel Daniel (Enugu Rangers)

Defenders: Kalu Orji Okogbue (Enugu Rangers); Chibuzor Okonkwo (FC IfeanyiUbah); Mathew Etim (Enugu Rangers); Austin Oboroakpo (Abia Warriors); Sincere Seth (Rhapsody FC); Segun Oduduwa (Nath Boys); Chima Akas (Akwa United); Chris Madaki (Kano Pillars); Oke Ogogatewho (Sunshine Stars)

Midfielders: Ifeanyi Mathew (Kano Pillars); Usman Mohammed (FC Taraba); Etebo Oghenekaro (Warri Wolves); Yau Hassan (Wikki Tourists); Stanley Dimgba (Warri Wolves)

Forwards: Ezekiel Bassey (Enyimba FC); Prince Aggrey (Kano Pillars); Bright Onyedikachi (FC IfeanyiUbah); Chisom Chikatara (Abia Warriors); Godwin Obaje (Wikki Tourists)

Overseas–Based Professionals

Goalkeepers: Carl Ikeme (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England); Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa)

Defenders: Efe Ambrose (Celtic FC, Scotland); Abdullahi Shehu (Uniao da Madeira, Portugal); Elderson Echiejile (AS Monaco, France); Stanley Amuzie (Olhanense FC, Portugal); Godfrey Oboabona (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey); Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa FC, Turkey)

Midfielders: Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City, England); Azubuike Okechukwu (Yeni Matalyspor, Turkey)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Moses Simon (KAA Gent, Belgium); Victor Moses (West Ham United, England); Aminu Umar (Osmanlispor FK, Turkey); Odion Ighalo (Watford FC, England); Aaron Samuel (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Fanendo Adi (Portland Timbers, USA)

Keshi Invites Five New Players, 19 Others For Sudan

Stephen KeshiSuper Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi, has invited five new players and 19 others for next October’s 2015 Africa Cup of Nations two legged qualifying game against Sudan.

The players include former junior international, Raheem Lawal, China–based striker, Aaron Samuel, Reading of England’s Hope Akpan, Austria–based forward, Sunday Emmanuel and a relatively unknown Anyora Ugonna, who plays in Norway.

Goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, who missed the games against Congo and South Africa due to family issues, is also back in the team and Babatunde Michael, who impressed at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil also made the list.

African Champions, Nigeria is under pressure and must win both matches against Sudan next month to have any realistic chance of qualifying for the Cup of Nations scheduled for Morocco next year.

Both teams will clash in Khartoum on Saturday, October 11 and play the second leg four days later at the National Stadium, Abuja.

THE FULL LIST:

Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Lille OSC, France); Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be’erSheva, Israel); Chigozie Agbim (Gombe United)

Defenders: Elderson Echiejile (Monaco FC, France); Juwon Oshaniwa (Ashdod FC, Israel); Efe Ambrose (Celtic FC, Scotland); Godfrey Oboabona (Rizespor FC, Turkey); Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves, Nigeria); Kenneth Omeruo (Middlesbrough, England)

Midfielders: John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); Nosa Igiebor (Maccabi FC, Israel); Omatsone Aluko (Hull City, England); Hope Akpan (Reading FC, England); Raheem Lawal (Eskisehirspor FC, Turkey); Anyora Ugonna (Haugesund FC, Norway)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey); Gbolahan Salami (Warri Wolves, Nigeria); Osaguona Ighodaro (Enugu Rangers, Nigeria); Victor Moses (Stoke City, England); Aaron Samuel (Guangzhou R & F, China); Aaron Samuel (SV ScholzGrodig, Austria); Babatunde Michael (Volyn Lutsk, Ukraine)

EPL Round-up: Stoke Shock Manchester City At Home

Manchester CityChampions, Manchester City, suffered a shock defeat at home to Stoke City while Chelsea continue their hundred percent impressive start in the 2014/2015 English Premier League campaign.

Mame Biram Diouf scored a sensational solo goal to put Stoke in front on 58 minutes as Mark Hughes’ men held on for dear life in the closing stages, which gave the potters their first top-flight away victory over City since 1980.

Stoke had lost all 12 previous league matches at the Etihad Stadium and Old Trafford and Manager, Mark Hughes, would savour this victory at his former club.

The odds were stacked against the visitors who had not even scored at Manchester City in the Premier League.

By contrast, Manuel Pellegrini’s men had failed to hit the net in just one of their last 70 home matches and the Chilean started up front with Sergio Aguero, who had taken just 23 seconds to score off the bench against Liverpool.

The Potters had failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 12 league matches but a resolute performance from Hughes’s side saw them do just that and Diouf’s second-half strike capped a perfect day for the disbelieving travelling Stoke fans.

Swansea moved to the top of the Premier League table, albeit only for a couple of hours, with a 3-0 win over West Brom.

The Welsh side made a quick start at home and first-half goals from Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge sent them on their way to a third win in three matches for Manager, Garry Monk.

Routledge’s goal was one to savour as well, as he converted a bicycle kick from outside the box to add to Dyer’s early opener, and Dyer added gloss to the scoreline with 19 minutes remaining.

Their stay at the top, however, lasted only until the conclusion of the match at the Goodison which produced nine sweet goals.

United Draw On Di-Maria Debut

Meanwhile, Manchester United remain without a win after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Burnley at Turf Moor in the lunchtime kick-off.

Louis Van Gaal’s side again produced a disappointing display, despite British record signing, Angel di Maria, having a relatively lively debut before coming off with 20 minutes left.

Indeed, it was Burnley who came closest to scoring with David Jones, a former United trainee, seeing his free-kick bounce back off the crossbar early in the first-half.

Wilfried Zaha, who wasn’t given a chance by Van Gaal at Old Trafford, snatched a point for new manager, Neil Warnock, as Crystal Palace emerged from a 3-3 thriller at Newcastle with something to show for their efforts.

Zaha, on loan at the Eagles from Manchester United, struck five minutes into stoppage time at the end of a dramatic encounter at St James’ Park just as it looked as though the Magpies had secured their first Premier League win of the season.

QPR secured their first win back in the top division with a 45th minute goal from Charlie Austin enough to see them past Sunderland 1-0 at Loftus Road and Morgan Schneiderlin scored twice for Southampton as they battled past West Ham 3-1 after trailing to an early goal from Mark Noble at Upton Park.

EPL: Costa Shines As Chelsea Cruise In Nine-Goal Thriller

ChelseaChelsea demonstrated the full extent of their attacking power in their 6-3 victory over Everton.

Big-money recruit, Diego Costa, assisted by fellow Spaniard, Cesc Fabregas and Nigeria’s John Mikel Obi, scored twice for Jose Mourinho’s side, the first after only 34 seconds.

Branislav Ivanovic scored two minutes after Costa’s opener but Kevin Mirallas pulled one back on the stroke of half-time for Everton before a crazy period of five goals in 11 second-half minutes, as Chelsea pulled clear only to be pegged back.

Seamus Coleman’s unfortunate own goal after 67 minutes made it 3-1, only for Steven Naismith to finish neatly two minutes later.

Nemanja Matic’s low strike had Chelsea 4-2 up in the 74th minute, but two minutes after that, Samuel Eto’o, on for his Everton debut off the bench, headed home his side’s third against his old club.

Ramires stabbed Chelsea’s fifth past Tim Howard a minute later, and Costa finally put the result beyond doubt in the 90th minute, rounding Tim Howard to score after a superb back-heel pass from Mikel.

 

Nigeria Invites 23 Players For AFCON Qualifiers

AFCON QualifiersAfrican Champions, Nigeria, have called up 23 players for the 2015 Nations Cup qualifying matches against the Red Devils of Congo and South Africa’s Bafana Bafana.

The list released by the Nigeria Football Federation features goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama; defenders, Kenneth Omeruo and Efe Ambrose; midfielders, Ogenyi Onazi and John Mikel Obi, and forwards, Ahmed Musa and Emmanuel Emenike.

Monaco of France defender, Elderson Echiejile, who missed the 2014 FIFA World Cup due to injury, Nosa Igiebor and Schalke 04’s Chinedu Obasi are all back for the qualifiers.

Home–based quartet, Chigozie Agbim, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Kunle Odunlami and Gbolahan Salami, who were part of Nigeria’s third place finish at the African Nations Championship in South Africa earlier in the year, would be making a return to Capetown.

Enugu Rangers’ topman, Christian Osaguona also add to the number of players from the domestic league.

Nigeria starts its AFCON qualifiers with Congo in Calabar on September 6, and later leave for Cape Town to take on the Bafana Bafana on September 10.

THE FULL LIST

Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Lille OSC, France); Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Chigozie Agbim (Gombe United, Nigeria)

Defenders: Elderson Echiejile (Monaco FC, France); Juwon Oshaniwa (Ashdod FC, Israel); Efe Ambrose (Celtic FC, Scotland); Godfrey Oboabona (Rizespor FC, Turkey); Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves, Nigeria); Kenneth Omeruo (Middlesbrough FC, England); Kunle Odunlami (Sunshine Stars, Nigeria)

Midfielders: John Mikel Obi (Chelsea FC, England); Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); Ramon Azeez (Almeria FC, Spain); Joel Obi (Inter Milan, Italy); Nosa Igiebor (Real Betis, Spain); Omatsone Aluko (Hull City, England)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce FC, Turkey); Chinedu Obasi Ogbuke (Schalke 04, Germany); Uche Nwofor (Heerenveen FC, Netherlands); Nnamdi Oduamadi (AS Varese 1910, Italy); Gbolahan Salami (Warri Wolves); Christian Osaguona (Enugu Rangers)   

FIFA Clears Emmanuel Sarki To Play For Haiti

sarkiFormer Nigeria youth international, Emmanuel Sarki, has been cleared by the world football governing body, FIFA, to play for the Haiti national team.

Sarki, who has represented Nigeria in the Under-17 and the Under-20 categories in the past but has never played for the senior national team, the Super Eagles, has been summoned by the Haiti National Team for an exhibition game with Chile on September 9 at the Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, USA.

The Wisla Krakow midfielder was once thought to be on the payroll of Chelsea alongside John Mikel Obi, but he did not make the grade in England, forcing him to try his luck in Belgium and Israel before he finally settled down in Poland.

It has been claimed that the midfielder can turn out for the Haitian National Team because his great grandparents are from the Caribbean country.

In addition, he already had the nationality of the representative team when he featured for the Golden Eaglets and Flying Eagles of Nigeria.

Sarki, who featured alongside John Obi Mikel at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup hosted by Finland in 2003, was born on December 26, 1987 in Kaduna State.

Meanwhile, FIFA have rejected an application by Romania to cap former U-20 Nigerian striker, Kehinde Fatai.

Fatai, who has been a big hit since he moved to Romania from JUTH FC of Jos in the 2006/2007 season, when he joined Farul Constanta, told AfricanFootball.com that the world governing body rejected the application on the premise that he had not gotten the Romanian citizenship when he played for the Flying Eagles at the time.

 

 

 

 

Keshi Invites 25 Players For Ethiopia And Italy Game

Head Coach of Nigeria’s Super Eagles, Stephen Keshi, has called up 25 players ahead of the final lap of the 2014 World Cup qualifying match against Ethiopia and the international friendly against Italy in November.

The Nigerian National Team will take on the Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia, at the U. J. Esuene stadium, Calabar, Cross-River State in Nigeria on November 16 with a 2-1 advantage having won the first leg in Addis-Ababa courtesy of a brace from in-form striker, Emmanuel Emenike.

Two days later, the African Champions will take on 4-time world champions, Italy at the Craven Cottage ground of English Premiership club, Fulham FC in a high-profile friendly in London.

Coach Keshi has recalled brilliant young defender Kenneth Omeruo, a key component of his 2013 Africa Cup Of Nations winning squad and the rugged and attack-minded midfielder Reuben Gabriel as both men have been out of the squad for months owing to injuries.

Nigeria squad:
Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Lille FC, France); Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Chigozie Agbim (Enugu Rangers)
Defenders: Elderson Echiejile (Sporting Braga, Portugal); Francis Benjamin (Heartland); Efe Ambrose (Celtic, Scotland); Solomon Kwambe (Sunshine Stars); Godfrey Oboabona (Rizespor, Turkey); Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves); James Okwuosa (Chippa United, South Africa), Kenneth Omeruo (Chelsea, England)
Midfielders: John Mikel Obi (Chelsea, England); John Ogu (Academica de Coimbra, Portugal); Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio, Italy); Nosa Igiebor (Real Betis, Spain); Victor Moses (Liverpool, England); Sunday Mba (Enugu Rangers); Nnamdi Oduamadi (Brescia, Italy), Reuben Gabriel (Kilmarnock, Scotland)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Brown Ideye (Dynamo Kyiv, Ukraine); Shola Ameobi (Newcastle United, England); Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce, Turkey); Obinna Nsofor (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia); Uche Nwofor (SC Heerenveen, Netherlands).

Galatasaray In Talks With Chelsea Over Mikel

Turkish side have decided to approach London club; Chelsea for the services of their star midfielder and Nigerian international John Mikel Obi.

Reports have it that Galatasaray declared their interest in Mikel obi as their representative; Bülent Tulun travelled to London for the talks in a bid to sign the midfielder, a deal that involve Mohammed who is a Nigeria FIFA Agent and another FIFA agent Hasan Egilmez.

Mikel joined Chelsea from FK Lyn for €26 million in 2006. The 26-year-old defensive midfielder has made 277 appearances for Chelsea, won the Premier League title, four FA Cups and lifted the Champions League trophy.

Mikel started his official football career at the age of 12 when picked as a talented footballer from over 3000 young talents to play in Pepsi Football Academy. A team which at that particular time was well known for going around Nigeria to search for the best there is from all the upcoming future stars, young talents to later move on to rather more professional football. Already then Obi stood out to all the scouts.

He got picked to play in a top-flight team Plateau United also known for making stars from players like Celestine Babayaro, Victor Obinna, Chris Obodo and many more which moved on to playing in European teams and representing their country later on in their careers.

Later known as John Obi Mikel he was gaining headlines for his country at the FIFA Under-17 World Championships held in Finland. Subsequently he went on trial to South Africa club Ajax Cape Town, before joining Lyn in Norway.

During preparations for the 2003 FIFA Under-17 World Championships, the Nigerian Football Association mistakenly submitted “Michael” as “Mikel” for the tournament in Finland. He decided to keep the new name, saying that it had a special ring to it. On 31 July 2006, he stated that he prefers to be called Mikel John Obi instead of John Obi Mikel, as he had most commonly been called.

In the summer of 2005, Mikel played for Nigeria at the FIFA World Youth Championships held in the Netherlands. He had an excellent tournament until Nigeria reached the final, where they lost 2–1 to Argentina. Obi won the Silver Ball after being voted the tournament’s second best player.