Unsung hero - John Obi Mikel
He was a vital cog in the most dominant era in the Chelsea history, a quiet, consistent, stabilising presence at the base of midfield who shielded the back four excellently while allowing the likes of Ballack, Lampard, Essien to thrive.
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On 2 July 2005, at the Galgenwaard Stadium in Utrecht, Argentina and Nigeria contested the final of the FIFA World Youth Championship, now known as the Under-20 World Cup. The match was settled by two penalties scored by a certain Lionel Messi, and despite winger Chinedu Obasi scoring a goal for Nigeria, the South Americans held on for their fifth title. Both sides had been powered to the final courtesy of standouts talent on both sides – the otherworldly Messi for the Argentines and a tall, gangly player wearing the number nine jersey for Nigeria: John Obi Mikel.
His performances in the Netherlands had placed him on the radar of major European clubs, and he joined nouveau-riche Chelsea in the summer of 2006.
Mikel joined the revolution at Stamford Bridge in earnest. Stepping into a dressing room packed with elite talent, acquired with Abramovich’s millions and moulded in Mourinho’s pragmatic trophy-winning image, it was difficult to imagine where the young Nigerian would fit into a side that had just secured a second league title in succession.
By the end of the campaign, he was in the starting line-up as Chelsea defeated Manchester United to win the first FA Cup final at the new Wembley and avenge losing the league title to Sir Alex Ferguson’s men. Like a phoenix, Mikel had risen above speculation about leaving the club mere months after joining; he had won a place in what was, at that time, England’s best club side. It was a sweet victory for the youngster, a triumph of perseverance and hard work, but one that came at a cost.
With Chelsea, Mikel won 2 Premier Leagues, 3 FA Cups, one League Cup, one Europa League, one Champions League,he also won the African Nations cup trophy with Nigeria in 2013.
He was a player that was mostly underrated by Nigerian football loving fans.
I think he deserves some respect, he is arguably the most decorated Nigerian footballer.
Non of his peers during the under 20 can be measured up to him today. It's also a thing of concern that we can't pick any of his under 20 teammates that went ahead to do exploits in Europe unlike his counterpart then Lionel Messi,you can call on Di Maria, Aguero E.t.c
He remain a Chelsea and Nigeria legend. You can't write about Chelsea's champions league triumph without mentioning his name and when mentioning the most decorated Nigerian player,he is in the first two names.
PLEASE LET'S CELEBRATE HIM, HE'S AN UNSUNG HERO