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EX-Liverpool star apologises to Mikel Obi 15 years after bad tackle

Former Liverpool and Tottenham striker Peter Crouch has labelled his foul against Nigerian legend John Obi Mikel as the worst tackle of his career.

Former England international Peter Crouch has admitted that his foul against John Obi Mikel was a bad one

Former Premier League striker Peter Crouch has admitted that a tackle he made on former Super Eagles captain John Obi Mikel was reckless. The rangy striker was better known for goal-scoring than ball-winning, and he labelled the tackle as the worst of his entire career.

In the 60th minute of a Carling Cup (now Carabao Cup) quarter-final clash against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Crouch was sent off for a horrible two-footed lunge on Mikel. The red card compounded Liverpool's problem as they had just fallen behind the hosts and went on to lose the match 2-0.

Speaking after the match, Crouch was convinced that Mikel had conned the referee, Martin Atkinson, by exaggerating the severity of the tackle.

"I didn't catch him but he's gone down like he's been shot," Crouch said.

However, 15 years later, in an interview with BBC 5 Live Sport, the 6ft 7 striker admitted his fault in the incident. According to Crouch, Mikel ,who was known for his tenacious defending, had been frustrating him all game, and it eventually got to him.

"The worst tackle I ever did was on [John] Obi Mikel. Throughout the whole game, I'm trying to receive balls, but it's like he had been told to mark in front of me. I had been telling the referee all game, but I was getting nothing.

"So around 70 minutes in, after it has been going on all game, the ball broke kindly as he was facing the stand, and I kind of lost the plot and tried to take him out," Crouch admitted.

Crouch was initially unsure whether he had fouled Mikel, but upon re-examining the tackle after the match, he admitted that his actions merited more than a dismissal.

"The red mist was like an out of body experience, I had thought he dived. Afterwards, I thought I would have a look at the tackle, and when I did have a look at it, I was like, 'oh no!'

"That was in fact three red cards, like what on Earth was I thinking? It's something that I can't explain. He's been winding me up the entire game ,and I completely lost it." the former England international recalls.

The gentle giant apologised to the Champions League winner, admitting that he acted rashly.

"I'm not proud of this, and if he is listening to this, which I doubt he would be, then John Obi Mikel, I would like to apologise," Crouch said.

Chelsea went on to win the 2007 Carling Cup, defeating London rivals Arsenal 2-1 at Wembley stadium. Mikel would win another 11 trophies before retiring, cementing him as one of Nigeria's greatest football exports.

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