After 20 years of topflight football, former Super Eagles Captain, John Mikel Obi, yesterday formally announced his retirement from professional football.
The former Chelsea holding midfielder announced hanging his boots on his official Instagram account. And in just few hours after the post, it attracted over three million likes and 4,098 comments mostly saluting the legend who had been successful both at club and national teams, winning major trophies.
“There is a saying that “all good things must come to an end”, and for my professional football career, that day is today,” Obi said in the statement.
He further said, “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.”
Mikel began his career with domestic NPFL club Plateau United, before joining Norwegian club Lyn at the age of 17 in 2004. In 2006, he made a controversial transfer to English club Chelsea after Manchester United claimed they had already signed him. He stayed with Chelsea for 11 years, before moving to China with Tianjin TEDA in 2017. After two years in China, he returned to England on a short-term deal with Middlesbrough, before joining Trabzonspor on a free transfer in July 2019. Mikel moved back to England in August 2020 joining Stoke City.
In a 14-year international career between 2005 and 2019, he played 91 times for Nigeria, scoring six goals and won AFCON 2013 title with the Super Eagles of Nigeria as his biggest feat with the national team.