Mikel Retires From National Team

Super Eagles captain Mikel Obi has announced his retirement from the national team.

The 32-year-old retired after the Super Eagles of Nigeria took the third position at the 2019 AFCON.

In a post on his verified Instagram handle, he said, “At the age of 32 it’s time for me to retire from the National team and let the youth take over, who’ve done an amazing job securing a bronze medal at AFCON 2019.”

READ ALSO: Mikel Retires From National Team

The midfielder added that he is announcing his retirement in Egypt, the same country where he started his national career.

“Egypt is a country where I’ve started and have finished my National career. In 2006 I played my first official championship for my Country. 2019 African Cup of Nations marks my last championship for National Team with Super Eagles.

“My national career started in 2003 under 17 World Cup and I’m grateful for the national team for placing me on the world arena and giving me an opportunity to show my skill and have an incredible National and International career.

“At the age of 32 it’s time for me to retire from the National team and let the youth take over, who’ve done an amazing job securing a bronze medal at AFCON 2019.

“Thank you to all my Nigerian supporters and to my Country for all the trust, support and love you’ve shown me over the past 15 years.

“Mikel am out!,” his post read in full.

The midfielder had already announced that the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt would be his last appearance on the continental showpiece event.

“I’m mostly here in Egypt to support the young guys and make sure they’re on the right track. It’s been an amazing ride for me in the national team,” Mikel told BBC Sport.

Mikel made 89 appearances for Nigeria between 2005 and 2019, scoring six times.

 

See below Mikel’s post announcing his retirement…

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Egypt is a country where I’ve started and have finished my National career. In 2006 I played my first official championship for my Country. 2019 African Cup of Nations marks my last championship for National Team with Super Eagles. My national career started in 2003 under 17 World Cup and I’m grateful for the national team for placing me on the world arena and giving me an opportunity to show my skill and have an incredible National and International career. At the age of 32 it’s time for me to retire from the National team and let the youth take over, who’ve done an amazing job securing a bronze medal at AFCON 2019. Thank you to all my Nigerian supporters and to my Country for all the trust, support and love you’ve shown me over the past 15 years. Mikel am out!

A post shared by Mikel Obi (@mikel_john_obi) on

 

Nigeria Play Goalless Draw With Zimbabwe In Warm Up Match

File Photo

 

 

Nigerias Super Eagles and the warriors of Zimbabwe settled for a goalless draw in an international friendly played in Asaba.

The three-time African champions led by Captain Mikel Obi had a large share of possession but could not get past the Zimbabweans who were resolute in defence.

Samuel Chukwueze impressed with his brilliant runs while goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi had little to do in the game.

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Meanwhile, Super Eagles Coach, Gernot Rohr said the weather condition in Asaba affected his teams game plan against the warriors of Zimbabwe and expressed certainty that his players could have done better if the pitch was dry.

We did not expect so much of raining already, but we had to adapt to the conditions and I think in Egypt it will not be the same, it will be dry and hot.

Coach Gernot is expected to make up his mind on the two players he intends to drop from the squad ahead of the 2019 African cup of nations.

We already had our opinion before the match, because it is a season we observed the players and we saw what they did.

All the weeks in the training sessions, we had seven sessions and we could see the fitness and confidence of the players; so this match is not giving us the decision on the two players we have to drop, he added.

Mikel To Lead Super Eagles At Africa Cup Of Nations

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. OZAN KOSE / AFP

 

John Obi Mikel has confirmed he is available to return to the Super Eagles for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, according to a team official.

The former Chelsea star last played for Nigeria at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and was not involved in the qualifying for this year’s Nations Cup.

“Mikel has met with coach (Gernot) Rohr in England and he has confirmed he will feature at the Nations Cup in Egypt,” said a top team official.

The 32-year-old Obi, now with English Championship side Middlesborough, has won 85 caps and scored six goals since his full international debut in 2005 against Libya.

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Experts said his experience and leadership would be invaluable to a squad that includes many players making their debut in this competition after Nigeria missed out on the last two editions.

The tournament in Egypt is widely seen as the last hurrah for the player in international football.

AFP

Chelsea, NFF, Boro Celebrate Mikel Obi As Super Eagles Captain Turns 32

 

 

Chelsea Football Club have sent birthday wishes to Super Eagles captain, John Mikel Obi as he turned 32 on Monday. 

Obi who currently plays for Middlesbrough, was born on the 22nd of April 1987 in Jos, Plateau State.

The soccer-star, made his debut for Chelsea on August 12, 2006.

Chelsea felicitated with Obi via the club’s official twitter handle, tweeting “Have a great birthday @Mikel_John_Obi!”.

In a similar vein, Middlesbrough have wished Obi a happy birthday.

“Happy birthday to @mikel_john_obi! 🎉🎂 #UTB,” the club tweeted in the early hours of Monday.

READ ALSO: Sissoko, Major Doubt For Spurs Ahead Ajax Opener

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), has sent birthday wishes to the Super Eagles captain.

Obi who made his debut for the Super Eagles in 2005, has scored six goals in 85 appearances for Nigeria so far.

NFF tweeted, “Happy birthday to @NGSuperEagles captain, @mikel_john_obi. We wish you the best today and always. Enjoy your day!”.

On her part, Mikel Obi’s longtime partner Olga Diyachenko has taken to Instagram to celebrate the father of her children on his birthday.

Olga shared a lovely photo of herself and the midfield marshal, accompanying the picture with a beautiful caption in which she called Obi her “Baby Daddy” in reference to the two lovely girls she bore for the footballer.

She went on to compared her love for Obi to the appealing affection which a fat child has for cakes.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Happy Birthday baby daddy 😝 love you more than fat kid loves cake 🎂

A post shared by Olga Diy (@olga_allegra) on

Mikel will be hoping to lead his team to victory when Boro takes on Nottingham Forest in a Championship fixture later on Monday.

Middlesbrough Unveil Super Eagles Captain Mikel Obi   

Super Eagles Captain Mikel Obi at his unveiling by Middlesbrough. Credit: @Boro

 

English Championship side, Middlesbrough have unveiled Nigeria International, Mikel Obi as their latest addition.

Mikel becomes Boro’s second addition of the January transfer window, following the arrival of Rajiv van La Parra on loan from Huddersfield earlier in the month.

The Super Eagles Captain rose to prominence in an 11-year stint with Chelsea, making nearly 400 appearances for The Blues and winning a host of honours including two Premier League titles and the Champions League.

He becomes the fifth Nigerian to play for Boro, after Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Bart Ogbeche, Karl Ikeme and Kenneth Omeruo.

Prior to his latest move, Obi, 31, tore up his contract at Chinese Super League (CSL) side, Tianjin TEDA, after escaping relegation.

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The Nigerian captain has battled injuries since the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and has put in an effort to get back in top shape.

He was also linked with a move to Turkey Super Lig side, Fenerbahce.

However, Middlesbrough have snapped him up on a six-month deal.

Boro are currently in the battle to gain promotion to the Premier League from the Championship.

Mikel To Miss Eagles’ AFCON Qualifier Against South Africa

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 have again left out captain Mikel John Obi from next month’s crucial 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in South Africa after they named a 23-man squad.

China-based Mikel Obi, who made his Nigeria debut in 2005, has not played for the country since he captained the team to the World Cup in Russia in June.

Officials have said the former Chelsea star was previously left out of the squad to allow him time to recover from niggling injuries.

But he has since fully recovered and is now playing regularly for his Chinese club, Tianjin Teda.

Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has recalled Sporting Charleroi striker Victor Osimhen and midfielder Mikel Agu, who is based in Portugal.

Villarreal young forward Samuel Chukwueze has been handed his first call-up.

Nigeria play South Africa in Johannesburg on November 17.

They top Group E with nine points from four matches, a point ahead of second-placed South Africa.

Nigeria will also host Uganda in a friendly at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba on November 20.

Nigeria squad:

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Elche/ESP), Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba), Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United/RSA)

Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino/ITA), Adeleye Aniyikaye (Ifeanyi Ubah), Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United/ENG), Bryan Idowu (Lokomotiv Moscow/RUS), William Ekong (Udinese FC/ITA,), Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion/ENG,), Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes/SPA), Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07/GER)

Midfielders: Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC/ENG), John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva/ISRl), Mikel Agu (Vitoria Setubal FC/POR)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassr/KSA), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City/ENG), Moses Simon (Levante/ESP), Victor Osimhen (Royal Charleroi/BEL), Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai/CHN), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal/ENG), Samuel Kalu (Bordeaux/FRA), Isaac Success (Watford/ENG); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal/ESP)

Standby: Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray/TUR), Chidozie Awaziem (Porto/POR), Nyima Nwagua (Kano Pillars), Sunday Adetunji (Enyimba), Junior Lokosa (Kano Pillars)

AFP

I Was Told About My Father’s Kidnap Hours Before Argentina Match – Mikel Obi

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

 

Super Eagles captain, Mikel Obi, says he was informed about his father’s kidnap about four hours before Nigeria’s final World Cup match against Argentina.

Mikel told The Guardian UK that he received the shocking news while travelling on the team bus to the stadium in St Petersburg last Tuesday.

According to him, a family member had called and told him that he had to call the kidnappers on a designated number. After he did so, he was ordered to pay a ransom.

He further explained that although he was distraught by the news, he had to put it aside and play the match.

“I was emotionally distraught and I had to make the decision about whether I was mentally ready to play. I was confused. I did not know what to do but, in the end, I knew that I could not let 180 million Nigerians down. I had to shut it out of my head and go and represent my country first. I could not even inform the coaches or NFF staff and only a very tight circle of my friends knew.

“I was told that they would shoot my dad instantly if I reported to the authorities or told anybody. I also did not want to discuss it with the coach [Gernot Rohr] because I did not want my issue to become a distraction to him or the rest of the team on the day of such an important game. As much as I wanted to discuss it with the coach, I could not,” he said.

His father, Pa Michael Obi was kidnapped along with his driver, Ishaya John, along the Markurdi – Enugu road on Friday afternoon while on their way from Jos in a grey coloured Toyota Prado jeep.

However, days after, they were rescued by the police.

They were rescued on Monday around 2:30 pm in Egede Udi forest of Enugu State.

“The abductors then started calling the families to demand a ransom of N10 million but the operatives acting on intelligence information swooped on them. A gun duel ensued which forced the hoodlums to abandon their victims inside the forest and they were promptly rescued,” the police said in a statement.

In his reaction, Pa Michael Obi extolled the response and efforts of the police which led to their rescue, noting that he is alive and healthy.

Meanwhile, Mikel has also thanked the police for securing the release of his father.

 

In a post he shared on Instagram Tuesday, he said his father has been reunited with the rest of the family and is now recuperating.

This is not the first time Mikel Obi’s father will be kidnapped.

He was previously kidnapped in Jos in 2011 while he was travelling home from work.

How Police Rescued Mikel Obi’s Father From Kidnappers Den

Police Recover Stolen Mace After Senate Invasion
File photo of special police officers

 

The Police in Enugu State has confirmed the rescue of Pa Michael Obi and his driver, Ishaya John, after he was kidnapped by unknown gunmen on Friday, June 29.

Father of the Nigerian footballer, Mikel Obi, was rescued by the police on Monday around 2.30pm in Egede Udi forest of Enugu State along old Egede Affa road Enugu.

Pa Michael Obi and driver were abducted along Markurdi Enugu road on Friday afternoon while he was on his way from Jos. He was abducted in his grey coloured Toyota Prado jeep with registration number MUS 604CG and then taken to an unknown destination.

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“The abductors then started calling the families to demand a ransom of N10 million but the operatives acting on intelligence information swooped on them. A gun duel ensued which forced the hoodlums to abandon their victims inside the forest and they were promptly rescued,” the police said in a statement on Monday.

In his reaction, Pa Michael Obi extolled the response and efforts of the police which led to their rescue, noting that he is alive and healthy.

A team of doctors from the police medical unit later conducted a medical check on Pa Michael Obi at the office of the commissioner of police and confirmed that he is hale and hearty.

Pa Michael Obi and the driver have since rejoined their family.

This is not the first time Mikel Obi’s father will be kidnapped. He was previously kidnapped in Jos in 2011 while he was travelling home from work.

Kidnappers Release Mikel Obi’s Father

Mikel Obi’s father after he was released from kidnapper’s den. Photo credit/TheCable

 

The Enugu State Police Command has confirmed the release of Michael Obi, the father of Super Eagles Captain, Mikel Obi.

State Police Public Relations Officer, Ebere Amaraizu, said in a statement that Pa Obi and his driver, John Ishaya, were abducted on Makurdi-Enugu Road on June 29.

“Michael Obi, the father of the (Super) Eagles captain, has regained his freedom,” Amaraizu said.

According to the police, Obi’s father was on his way from Jos, Plateau State, in a  grey colour Toyota Prado Sports Utility Vehicle with number plate, MUS 604CG, when he was kidnapped.

The kidnappers were said to have demanded a N10 million ransom but the police swung into action to secure his release.

Although the elderly man was not hurt, he was however forced to walk for about five kilometres (three miles) barefoot in the heavy rain.

The release comes one week after he was seized at gunpoint, even after he was previously kidnapped in Jos in 2011.

AFP

Mikel Starts For Nigeria Against England

Super Eagles Captain, John Mikel Obi

 

Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Mr Gernot Rohr, has named his starting line-up for this evening’s international friendly against England.

Deportivo Stopper, Francis continues in goal after starting the past 3 friendly matches against Poland, Serbia and DR Congo.

The back 4 is made up of Shehu Abdullahi, William Troost-Ekong, new Brighton signing, Leon Balogun and Bryan Idowu.

Captain Mikel Obi returns to the midfield after missing out against the Congolese in Port Harcourt and is joined by his vice, Ogenyi Onazi and Joel Obi.

Chelsea forward, Victor Moses also returns and will lead Nigeria’s attack along with Odion Ighalo and Alex Iwobi.

kick-off is 5.15pm Nigerian time.

Eagles Coach, Gernot Rohr Respects Mikel’s China Move

Gernot-RohrSuper Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr is pleased that Captain Mikel Obi can feature on a regular basis after his move to the Chinese Soccer League.

Premier League leaders, Chelsea announced that Mikel has joined Tianjin Teda in a deal worth 140,000 pounds a week.

The German tactician believes other Nigerian players will use the January transfer window to find new clubs.

“Some are not playing in their clubs and now is the month, very important January when they can change clubs to play and have competition.

“It is very important that Super Eagles players have competition in their clubs.

“He (Mikel) did not play much in the last month. He played in the Olympics, don’t forget it – he played all the games. He also played all the games for Super Eagles but (only) did not play in Chelsea.

“So I am happy that he can play now in China. It is always better to play in China than to stay in Chelsea and not play.

“He is now nearing the end of his career and it is normal that he is looking for a good contract,” the coach said.

Chelsea To Hold Contract Talks With Victor Moses

Chelsea To Hold Contract Talks With Victor MosesEnglish Premier League leaders, Chelsea plan to enter contract talks with Super Eagles forward, Victor Moses in the coming weeks after it emerged he has become a transfer target for Barcelona.

Moses’ performances in a new wing-back role have been key to Chelsea’s stunning turnaround in form since switching to a 3-4-3 formation, sparking a seven-game winning run in the EPL.

Victor Moses continued his fine form by scoring the winning goal for Chelsea in the 2-1 victory over Tottenham on Saturday, having previously found the net in wins against Burnley and champions Leicester City.

The result also ended Spurs’ unbeaten run and put the Blues at the top of the league table, a point above Liverpool and Manchester City.

Nigerian winger, Ahmed Musa was a second half substitute for Leicester City as they struggled to a 2-2 draw against Middleborough.