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Chelsea legend John Mikel Obi officially retires from football

My Football FactsArticles

By Martin Graham | 28th Sep 2022

John Obi Mikel has decided it’s time to pull the plug on his career and announced his retirement on his Instagram page. The former Chelsea midfielder won many laurels at Stamford Bridge before seeking pastures anew.

Great players come and go, but their memories linger. Players like this can be found in great clubs because the elite sides attract exceptional players like flies to rotten mangoes.

The Premier League is not bigger than Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal plus recently, Manchester City. In all these, it is hard to find a player who has won almost every trophy. The Premier League, Champions League and the Europa League are trophies found in their cabinet.

Chelsea boast a few players that are some of the game’s best. You can hardly talk about the illustrious history of Chelsea without mentioning Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard or John Terry. They have won the biggest trophies and remain symbols of the most successful era at Stamford Bridge. One player who was also instrumental to that successful era but rarely talked about is John Mikel Obi. The Nigerian midfielder has finally called time on his football career.

John Mikel Obi calls time on his career

Great minds can spot exceptional talent, so when Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho were in a tug of war for the services of Mikel Obi, you could tell the Nigerian midfielder was special. Several years later, both Mourinho and Ferguson were proven right.

Good things have a funny way of coming to an end. It also applies to the glittering career of one of the most understated players in football. John Mikel Obi, who was an integral part of the 2012 Chelsea Champions League winning team, has finally decided to hang his boots. The Nigerian midfielder announced his retirement on his personal Instagram account, with his last outing coming for Kuwait SC.

Mikel spent a sizable part of his career at Chelsea, where he achieved his most successes. In the latter part of his career, Mikel also turned out for Middlesbrough and Stoke City in the Championship before heading to the Middle East.

Over a decade of trophies

John Mikel Obi arrived at Stamford Bridge as a fresh-faced 19-year-old midfielder. He had a splendid FIFA U20 tournament that caught the eye of the world. Though Lionel Messi was the standout performer in the tournament, Mikel gave the little Argentine a run for his money and showed the world he was an exceptional talent.

Mikel had a career littered with trophies as he won several honours. He has a cabinet of titles that include two Premier League titles, the Champions League and the Europa League. He also won three FA and one League Cup. He made a massive 372 appearances in a Chelsea shirt.

Mikel Obi has an understated style, but his talent was nevertheless there to see. He was also captain of the Nigeria national football team, the Super Eagles and was part of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) winning squad.

A farewell note

In his farewell post, Mikel said all good things must end, and for his professional career, that day is today.

Mikel looked back at his 20-year career and said he was satisfied with all his achievements.

Mikel thanked all who have been a part of his long football career. He said his achievements could not have been possible without the support of his family, managers, clubs, coaches, teammates and most importantly, his ever-loyal fans.

Mikel concluded his post by saying a big thank you to all involved in his career. Mikel is perhaps the most successful player from Nigeria.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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