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Mikel: AFCON 2019 Could Be My Last With the Super Eagles

Mikel:  AFCON 2019 Could Be My Last With the Super Eagles

Super Eagles captain John Mikel Obi has revealed that the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt could be his last with the team, reports Completesports.com.

Mikel failed to feature in any of the side’s AFCON 2019 qualifying fixtures but was recalled to the team for the competition by head coach of the side Gernot Rohr.

He was named man of the match in the Super Eagles 0-0 friendly draw against the Warriors of Zimbabwe last Saturday.

The 31-year-old who has been constant fixture in the Super Eagles since making his debut in a friendly game against Libya in 2005 is set to play in his fourth AFCON in Egypt.

When quizzed about his international future, Mikel said that he is uncertain if he will be available for selection for their 2021 edition in Cameroon.

“I do not know but I think it may be (my last Afcon). I like to go every year and see how I feel,” Mikel stated in a video interview on the official Twitter handle of the Nigeria Football Federation

“Obviously the young players are coming, I think before the next one comes around again I will be 34 or so.

“I think this will probably be my last Afcon but I’m not 100 percent sure yet. I have given so much to this nation and at some point, you have to let go. I don’t want to overstay my welcome.

“I will leave when I feel the time is right. Let’s hope we can make it count.”

Mikel was part of the Nigeria team that won the Africa Cup of Nations title six years ago but he still desires to win more silverware with the Super Eagles.

“I’m always hungry to win if I didn’t want to win then I would not be here. I don’t just want to come in and play the Nations Cup. I have played so many games and there is no point that I’m just coming to play. I’ve come to win,” he continued.

“And that’s the same mentality I want to put in the younger ones to win. I know for some of them, it is just their first time and they just want to play but they need to have the mentality of going to win.

“That is the mentality that I have and hopefully, I can translate this from my performance on the pitch and outside the pitch when talking to them. Hopefully, we can do great things in Egypt.”

Mikel has enjoyed an illustrious football career with several awards including the Uefa Champions League, Uefa Europa League, two Premier League titles and three FA Cups among other trophies.

When he finally decides to hang his boots, the 32-year-old revealed that he will not be taking up an immediate role in football.

“Life after football? I don’t know if I will still be in the game, I have a lot of things going on,” he said.

“I like to do business, I’m a business guy so I don’t know if I will have time to be in the game. I love the game but who knows, maybe one day, I might come back to the game but at this point, after football, I am not thinking about being in the game.”

The Super Eagles will face Burundi in their opening game at AFCON 2019 on Saturday, June 22 at the Alexandria Stadium.

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  • Darey 1 year ago


  • “my the God i serve locate and pour out his supernatural favour opun mikel obi”, IN THE NAME JESUS CHRIST. LEGEND

  • Dipsy 1 year ago

    He has done well, He is well loved and appreciated. Hopefully he pilot the lads to AFCON trophy before saying goodbye this year.

  • Chairmanfemi 1 year ago

    Five Things To Expect From Super Eagles Friendly Against Senegal

    The Super Eagles will play a friendly match against the Teranga Lions of Senegal on Sunday as part of their preparations for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
    The encounter is expected to be an entertaining one based on the rivalry existing between both countries and the quality of players in both teams.
    What should Nigerians expect during and after the game? Here are top five things to look out for.
    1. Plenty Goals
    The encounter is expected to witness many goals from both sides based on current form. Each of the strikers in Rohr’s final squad scored an impressive number of goals for their respective clubs, while, Senegal strikers also did the same throughout the season.
    Judging by the strikers’ deadly form, the two goalies are expected to find the ball in their net on many occasions.

    2. High Physical Game
    Historically, all matches between two West African countries are always accompanied by hard tackles, and show of strength and agility.
    Though both sides will be very cautious with their tackles on Saturday, the encounter is set to be a very physical one.

    3. Great Attacking Moves From Both Sides
    Senegal and Nigeria are known for their attacking style of play, hence, the supporters will be treated to an highly entertaining game.
    Sadio Mane’s high converting rate and Ismaila Sarr’s pace will be massively put to test by coach Aliou Cisse while Gernot Rohr will want to see more from Samuel Chukwueze and Paul Onuachu.

    4. Strong Starting Lineup
    This is the last preparatory match for the Super Eagles before their AFCON opener against Burundi, therefore, Rohr is expected to name a strong team.
    Ekong and Musa, who started from the bench against Zimbabwe last weekend, are expected to be in the starting lineup.

    5. Less Substitutions From Gernot Rohr
    This game is organized to help Rohr access the fitness level of his players, and to help boost the chemistry between his players ahead of Burundi’s challenge.
    We should expect less substitutions from the gaffer who will want to see if some players can complete a game.

    Source: NGSuperEagles Facebook page

    • Adisboy 1 year ago

      I disagree with this write-up. I suspect the match tomorrow against Senegal will be a low scoring one like against Egypt. It is a friendly just days before the real thing so i don’t expect both teams approach the game full throttle. I predict a 1 nil score either way or a draw (0-0 or 1-1). The main thing is to avoid injuries.

    • Dr. Drey 1 year ago

      I also join @Adis to disagree with the opinion of the writer in the area of goalscoring and attacking display.
      If we look critically of results of friendlies played this past week, we will see a trend of cautiousness from teams, especially those heading to afcon.

      Nig 0-0 Zim
      Ghana 0-1 Namibia
      Guinea 0-1 Benin
      Morrocco 0-1 Gambia
      Egypt 1-0 Tanzania
      Algeria 1-1 Burundi
      DRC 0-0 B/faso
      Cameroun 2-1 Zambia
      Uganda 0-0 Turkmenistan
      Guinea 0-0 Gambia
      Kenya 1-0 Madagascar

      Teams are doing a lot of experimenting and players are saving their legs for the big dance. We are going to be seeing strong starting line ups, physical games (as expected of the typical african football teams) but goals…..? I doubt.
      Wetin be your portion if you win your friendlies handsomely and loose your key players to injuries…???

  • Bill 1 year ago

    Chair your committ silent sll

  • frank 1 year ago

    Nigeria will win this best Africa champion league

  • I disagree with the opinion goalies will pick the ball in back of net several times. if senegal first score then it wil end up draw 1 1. but if nigeria score first then 9ja win it.

  • When is the Friendly against Senegal?
    Tomorrow Saturday or Sunday and what time please?

    • BigD 1 year ago

      It’s saturday and will be “behind closed doors” as the NFF have indicated

  • He has given so much to his country; at some point one has to let go. At least, it would not be a good idea to overstay ones welcome.

    These were paraphrased words of the captain of my national team – John Mikel Obi.

    Examining those words closely, I was tempted to ask myself. Has he actually given that much to his country? If he goes on to play for another 5 years, would he be overstaying his welcome? Perhaps more potent, is he currently overstaying his welcome?

    Mikel’s romance with the senior national team started in 2005. Prior to that, he had come second to none other than the invincible Messi in FIFA youth world cup.

    Whereas Messi has gone on to become a global icon, Mikel has gone about his business with ruthless strategic calculation, hard work and 100 percent focus that ensures that he has as relevant to Nigeria as much as Messi remains relevant to Argentina even if his level of stardom and fame pales in comparison to Messi.

    Thirteen years of national team romance will, in truth, be appraised with contrasting views and opinions from Nigerian fans far and wide.

    Indeed, some already feel he is “overstaying his welcome”.

    What do I think?

    If there is one thing Mikel and Messi have in common, it is the overwhelming belief that they have not always lifted their national teams to the heights expected at certain key periods.

    Whatever the case, Mikel – like Messi – has served the national team with distinction, pride and purpose. Love him or hate him, you could never deny his (overall) devotion to the cause.

    • Adisboy 1 year ago

      Great write up Deo

    • Jones 1 year ago

      Very apt. I look forward to seeing your write-ups on Naijafootballers WhatsApp forum.

    • Pompei 1 year ago

      Nice one, Deo. The difference between Mikel and Messi is that unlike Messi, Mikel has won a senior level trophy with his country. Perhaps, Messi can finally accomplish this in the Copa America that is just around the corner. Mikel has indeed given Nigeria a lot. Time, energy, even spending his own money for the team (as he did before the Olympics when the Nigerian authorities were messing up). Eventually, every footballer has to hang their boots sometime.

  • Omo9ja 1 year ago

    Our journalists are falsing Captain Mikel to retire by false.

    You guys did that to Kanu, Jay jay Okocha and so on. Why why why?

    Enough of this. Well, I trust Mikel though, he is a smart guy. I wish you the best our captain. God bless Nigeria!!!