Top 5 moments of ex-Super Eagles and Chelsea star John Mikel Obi

The ex-Stoke City star had so many career highlights during his playing career.

Mikel Obi had so many legendary moments in his career

It is official. Ex-Super Eagles star John Mikel Obi has retired from professional football. Mikel revealed this in a post on his Instagram page on September 27, just before Nigeria's match against Algeria.

In fairness, Mikel's post only made it official as he has been retired since he left Kuwait SC in November 2021. Nonetheless, the 35-year-old retires as one of the true greats to come out of Nigeria.

While there may be a debate on if he is the greatest Nigerian player to ever play the game, his greatness can never be questioned.

He is one of the few Nigerian players who won a lot at the club and international levels. In a career that spanned 20 years, Mikel won numerous titles with Chelsea, including two Premier Leagues, the Champions League, and the Europa League.

Not to mention the FA Cup, League Cup, and Community Shield. On the international scene, Mikel won the Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria in 2013 and led the Dream Team to a bronze medal in the football event of the Rio 2016 Olympics.

An attacking midfielder who played as a defensive midfielder at Chelsea, Mikel was indeed a special breed. While he may not have the highlight reel of attackers, Mikel still had many great moments.

I take a look at some of his top moments for both club and country. NB: This is just a selection of my favourite moments.

There is no better place to start than where it all began for him. While Mikel had represented Nigeria at the U-17 level, it was his performance at the 2005 u20 World Cup that shot him into stardom.

Mikel was in a league of his own in the tournament. Everything the Flying Eagles did went through him. He was key as Nigeria went all the way to the final. Mikel capped off a fantastic tournament with a brilliant display in the final against Argentina.

Although the Flying Eagles lost, no thanks to Lionel Messi's two penalties, Mikel was the star of the night. His understanding of the game was well beyond his year.

The only reason he did not win the Golden Ball was because of a certain young boy named Messi, who is now arguably the greatest player to play the game.

But even with that, some people still believe Mikel deserved it ahead of Messi in that tournament.

Mikel played as an attacking midfielder for the Flying Eagles in 2005, but after moving to Chelsea a year later, his position changed, no thanks to Jose Mourinho.

The Portuguese tactician converted Mikel into a defensive midfielder due to the number of competitions in the attacking role.

This conversion affected Mikel's attacking qualities as his job was now focused on protecting the back four and stopping the opposition's attack.

As a result, he never scored a lot of goals for Chelsea. But it was a delight to see him score his first and only Premier League goal in the 2-0 win over Fulham in the 2013/2014 season.

The ex-Nigerian international's goal came via a right-footed volley following a header from John Terry. It might not have been a wonder goal, but everyone was clearly happy for him on that day.

Mikel might have played as a defensive midfielder for Chelsea, but he played an advanced role for Nigeria. However, he never scored a lot for the Super Eagles, either, with just six goals in 89 appearances.

However, one of those goals was indeed a thing of beauty against Uruguay in a 2013 Confederations Cup encounter.

After Uruguay had taken the lead through Bruno Lugano, Mikel drew Nigeria level in the match. The former Stoke City man did well to beat Lugano in the box before firing a left-footed shot into the top corner.

Nigeria went on to lose the game, but Mikel's goal was the highlight of the match. Overall, Mikel had one of his best tournaments with Nigeria at the 2013 Confederations Cup.

The Super Eagles won their third AFCON title in 2013, but it would have been impossible without Mikel. While he did not score in the game, Mikel's performance ensured Nigeria controlled the final against Burkina Faso.

Not to mention his performance against Ivory Coast and Mali in the quarter-final and semi-final, respectively.

In the history of Champions League final matches, only a few performances have been better than Mikel's display in Chelsea's win against Bayern Munich in 2012.

Chelsea were the underdogs going into the game, but against all odds, The Blues won via penalties.

While Didier Drogba took most of the plaudits, Mikel's performance also received praise. The former Super Eagles star bossed a Bayern Munich midfield which had Bastian Schweinsteiger and Toni Kroos.

He was everywhere on the pitch that night in Munich, stopping every Bayern attack. Not only that, but his calmness on the ball was also a delight to watch.

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