Super Eagles captain and Chelsea FC midfielder, John Mikel Obi has been named the Team Nigeria captain for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The sports ministry stated that the midfielder has been picked as he is regarded as “a role model to the upcoming athletes.”
The 29-year-old is one of the over-aged players named in Nigeria’s Under-23 national team for the men’s football event at the Olympics.
It is the first time that Mikel will make an appearance at the Olympic Games after he shunned his invitation to Beijing 2008 Games where Samson Siasia led the Nigerian squad to a silver medal.
Table tennis star Funke Oshonaike has been named assistant captain.
Rio2016 is Oshonaike’s sixth appearance at the Olympics after she debuted at Atlanta ’96.
“Mikel is a young, patriotic footballer of international status and we believe he will be a role model to the upcoming athletes while Funke Oshonaike is experienced and is one of the oldest athletes in the team. We believe that their combined efforts will bring goodwill to Team Nigeria and project the county’s image positively to the world,” stated the head of mission, Christian Ohaa.
The football team known as the Dream Team VI is expected to depart for Rio from Atlanta, United States on Friday July 29 while other athletes including the table tennis team will leave in batches on the same day The Olympics in Brazil will be staged between August 5 and 21.