Mikel John Obi is a Nigerian former professional footballer who played as a defensive midfielder. Mikel began his career with local 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.
The 35years old player took to his instagram timeline declaring that he is set to retire after a long time of being on the field. He said his retirement is not a goodbye but a start to another journey.
“There is a saying that ‘all good things must come to an end’, and for my professional football career, that day is today.
“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.
“This is not goodbye; it’s the start of another journey, another chapter of my life. I look forward to what the future holds and I hope you will walk with me. Thank you.”
The Nigerian former professional footballer won games such as Premier League, FA Cup, Football League Cup, FA Community Shield, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, Trabzonspor and many more. He won prizes such as Summer Olympics Bronze Medalist, FIFA World Youth Championship Silver Ball, CAF Most Promising Talent of the Year, Chelsea Young Player of the year, CAF Team of the year, African Cup of Nations Team of Tournament and many more.
Indeed, Mikel Obi is a legend.