PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: John Obi Mikel – Nigeria skipper criticised by academy founder – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Mikel at his Chinese club Tianjin Teda

Staff Reporter

Monday Nov 27, 2017. 10:00

With Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel no doubt looking forward to learning his side’s group stage opponents for the 2018 World Cup when the draw is held this coming Friday, he has been criticised by the founder of an academy he attended as a youngster.

Former Nigeria Football Federation technical director Kashimawo Laloko, who founded the Pepsi Football Academy at Agege Stadium in Lagos, believes Mikel – a product of the institution – has not done enough to give back to the youth in Nigerian football.

“Mikel was brought to limelight through our Jos centre around 1995 to 2002. We gave him the breakthrough that made Nigerians to know him,” Laloko is quoted by the Vanguard.

“He was unpolished when he came but we refined him. If not for us, maybe, he would not be where he is today but since he became a star, I have not heard that he visited the Jos centre to donate a pair of jersey to the players there. That is most unfair.

“Some former players give us money for the running of the centres but Mikel has not done such. Osaze is an example of a player who paid us because he recognised what we did for him.

“There was a time we wanted to use Mikel in a advertising campaign for the academy but he shunned us. His agent was asking us to pay a huge sum of money but Mr. Nelson could not believe it and that was how the deal fell through. I don’t think Mikel has done well for Nigerian youths.”

With Mikel currently enjoying the off season, following the completion of the Chinese Super League’s 2017 campaign earlier this month, perhaps he’ll make time to give back to those who helped his rise in the game.

Source link


PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: John Obi Mikel – Nigeria skipper ends CSL season on a high – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Zunis Stopilla of Zambia challenges Obi Mikel of Nigeria during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier football match between Nigeria and Zambia on 07 October 2017 at Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, Nigeria ©Kabiru Abubakar/BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Monday Nov 06, 2017. 10:00

Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel completed his first season in the Chinese Super League on a high this past weekend.

The 30-year-old played the full 90 minutes as Tianjin Teda claimed a 1-0 home win over Henan Jianye on Saturday in their final match of the 2017 season.

The victory – secured by a first-half goal from Senegal’s Mbaye Diagne – saw Tianjin finish 13th on the CSL log, two places and nine points clear of the relegation zone.

Having wrapped up his club duties, Mikel will now turn his attention to the Super Eagles, who have two high-profile matches coming up.

First Nigeria will wrap up their successful 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign a final Group B match against Algerian in Constantine on November 10.

This will be followed by a friendly against Argentina in Russia four days later, as the West African begin early preparation for next year’s global tournament.

Mikel, as Nigeria’s captain and one of coach Gernot Rohr’s most trusted players, is likely to be a central figure in both matches.

Source link


John Obi Mikel confident of booking a spot in Russia – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Aug 04, 2017. 09:00

Nigeria national team skipper John Obi Mikel is confident they will successfully reach the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

The Super Eagles midfielder says they must win their upcoming Group B match against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon to boost their chances.

Speaking to, the Tianjin Teda midfielder remains upbeat about their chances to make it to the biggest football tournament in the world.

Gernot Rohr’s men are already four points clear of second-placed Cameroon and five ahead of Zambia and Algeria, heading to the third round of qualifying at the end of this month.


The former Chelsea star whose wife is Russian, revealed that there is pressure from his family friends to qualify for the global showpiece.

“We are in a very good position in our group,” Mikel said to

“We have two wins from two games, and in our last game we beat Algeria at home. We have a very good young team and the players play good football.

“If we can win our next match (at home to Cameroon on 31 August) it will edge us closer to qualification. I think we can go through.

“They (friends and wife) are all expecting Nigeria to qualify for the next World Cup. I think they will kill me if I fail them.”

Source link


Obi: Nigeria will learn from the defeat to South Africa – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

John Obi MIKEL of Nigeria during the Russia 2018 World Cup Qualifier match between Nigeria vs Algeria on November, 12th 2016 at Godswill Akpabio Stadium
©Kabiru Abubakar//Backpagepix

Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Jun 13, 2017. 18:00

Nigeria captain and midfielder John Obi Mikel feels that the Super Eagles will learn from the defeat to South Africa on Saturday.

The Super Eagles suffered their maiden competitive defeat to Bafana Bafana when they lost 2-0 in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier.

Mikel, who plays for Tianjin Teda in the Chinese Super League, missed the encounter against South Africa due to an injury.

”Saying my absence cost the team is an insult to the talented players we have in the team,” Mikel told Own Goal Nigeria.

“It could have happened even if I played, you never can’t tell. The players had a bad day and we will definitely bounce back with or without me.

”In football you mustn’t win all the time. We have a young squad who are very talented and the lesson learnt from the loss will make them better equipped for our remaining games in the World Cup and AFCON Qualifiers”.

Source link