• African football

John Obi Mikel: Former Nigeria and Chelsea star retires from football

John Mikel Obi
Getty Images

The former Super Eagles captain hangs his boot at the age of 35.

John Obi Mikel has announced its retirement from football. 

The former midfielder started his career at Plateau United before moving to Denmark’s Lyn FK as his first European side.

A wonderful two-year spell saw Obi Mikel secure a £16m move to Chelsea, where he quickly reached his peak form.

The Super Eagles star won the Champions League, the Europa League, two Premier League titles and four FA Cups at Stamford Bridge.

He then left the Blues to continue his career at Tj Teda, Middlesbrough, Stoke City, and Trabozanspor before moving to Kuwait SC, in July 2021.

Go further with the #1 trusted leader in VPN

Obi Mikel’s time at the Kuwaiti side ended a few month later as the club released him in November. Having stayed out of work for almost a year, the former Nigeria international announced his retirement on Tuesday.

A Chelsea legend

Mikel made 91 appearances for Nigeria and won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations with the Super Eagles. Chelsea have paid tribute to their former star, naming him a club legend in their statement.

“There is a saying that ‘all good things must come to an end’, and for my professional football career, that day is today,” Mikel wrote in his Instagram account.

“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.”

He added: “All of this would not have been possible without the unwavering support of my family, managers, clubs, coaches, team-mates 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.”