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Mikel: Conte Fell Out With Me For Representing Nigeria At Rio 2016 Olympics

Mikel: Conte Fell Out With Me For Representing Nigeria At Rio 2016 Olympics

Nigeria captain John Mikel Obi has revealed that former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte dropped him from his squad for opting to represent the country at the the 2016 Olympics In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, reports Completesports.com.

Mikel joined Chelsea in the winter of 2006, spending 10 seasons before leaving the club in January 2017 after dropping down the pecking order.

The 31-year-old led the Nigeria U23 side to third position at the 2016 Olympic Games.

Following his return from the tournament, the midfielder was frozen out of Conte’s squad, which made seek a greener pasture in the Chinese Super League with Tianjin Teda.

“For me, it was a decision I had to take because when the opportunity came up to either go to Rio or play for Chelsea,” Mikel told the NFF media.

“I decided that Victor Moses, who was the younger and hasn’t played yet for the club, should stay back while I go to the Olympics.

“Victor stayed back and I went but when I got back the manager never spoke to me again and did not even put me in the team, so I had to leave the club.

“For me, my commitment to play for the national team will never change until I stop playing.”

After a decent campaign with Middlesbrough in the second half of the 2018-19 season, Mikel has switched his attention to the Africa Cup of Nations, which starts in Egypt on June 21.

Nigeria are in Group B of the showpiece and they will begin their campaign for a fourth Afcon title against Burundi at the Alexandria Stadium on June 22.

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  • Mister 1 year ago

    Really proud of you big Mike. You are really a great man among all our stars. GOD bless you for your sacrifice for the country thanks so much for all

    • Kbaba 1 year ago

      Can you imagine, some people still insult him..I just laugh when they do because he even used his $ to help pay important fees for the Olympic team like hotel fees, and player bonuses. Na why the guy will always be blessed. After Papilo, Skippo is the most loved Naija player IMO.

  • Oooh I have always had a knowing that Conte had a serious issue with Mikel playing at the Olympics.Conte denied this,but I felt he was lieing.Mikel also downplayed it to d press- well, nt bad then.
    This is totally unfair! What a world! Maybe that’s why Conte was ready to do anything for Moses.
    Players are too quiet sef. They wud have been labouring as slaves if Bossman didn’t sacrifice and act.

    Kai that’s why I admire someone like Eto’o,he is ready to challenge Conte right in the dressing room.What did Mikel have to loose sef,he had already won d Champions league and stuff b4 Conte came in and John Terry and squad loved Mikel.His fiancé’s(his wife now) family was/is so closely knit with Chelsea’s owner. So what’s the big deal?
    You can respectfully challenge the gaffer,if u are still not OK u bring in d dressing room into d matter,cry out to the club hierarchy, just do sumtin to at least make your grievances known.The dressing room will support you,if u cried out,the worst thing dat cud happen was dat he wud be benched(he was already being benched) or be asked to leave d club(did he not eventually leave?).But many times if u face the “lion” squarely u find out dat d lion also has his fears.

    What Conte did was a clear case of bullying a human being,a player, an unjust punishment. Similar to Eto’o an Emmanuel Adebayor sef,won’t take that. This is also where our FA wud have waded in tactfully and fought valiantly.
    It’s such a pity “the catalyst” was punished for committing no offence whatsoever.

    • This thing dey vex person sef.A lot of untold things these players go through. Henry Onyekuru fought one recently.His loan club purposely refused 2 play him after his full recovery from injury so dat he is not selected by d SEagles.
      They knew dat if d Eagles selected him,even if it’s in only d provisional list(and he doesn’t mek d WCup final list) dat wud be enough for Everton to fight successfully for his work permit and dat wud deprive dem of d player for d 2nd yr of d loan contract he signed with dem.
      Ofcourse,u know d story,Rohr ddnt call him up for d initial list nor final list, even after Simon got injured

      What I like about Onyekuru is dat he cried out even b4 d WCup,but many Nigerians didn’t believe him,Anderlecht also denied his story,just like Conte did.
      But as proof of his claims, he took action against d club,he challenged d club’s oppressive attitude. Now dis is risky they say, for a young African player to do in Europe. People will say,”you have many years ahead o,keep quiet and endure pls”.
      Henry refused to be bullied, he promised to cut shut his loan contract,that a club who wud not play him,even when fully fit,just for the selfish reason of their wanting more of him don’t deserve him.He followed tru wit his promise and chose Turkey.

      Now we talk of a brilliant season he had in Turkey,but it’s also becos the young man fought a lonely fight and refused to be intimidated or bullied.
      Some of our players may not have the courage of Onyekuru. If the NFF won’t help,we can do something,at least be a voice for these players somehow.

  • Sammy 1 year ago

    ”I think we have a young team without any stars. There are not many great players like Nigeria had in the 80s or 90s but our young team will be able to come out of the group and to try to go far,” Rohr told
    DW Kick off when asked about his team prior to Nations cup.

  • ijawboy 1 year ago

    Dear Mikel obi!! U’ve always added ur best quota, ;ah bless

  • Just keep it my brother u are I always want to see u play cos of ur killer passes.. Keep it up God pass the idiot coach

  • Omo9ja 1 year ago

    God bless you captain Mikel. I knew it. 99% of white people are betrayers. They laughed at you and in your back, they bites you so hard.

    Oga Rohr have exposing the Chelsea manager but you covered him up but I knew that you are just acting maturely.

    Where is he today? He is about to leave Chelsea or he’s gone already. Such is life.

    A big lesson here for us all, never taken your family or your Country for granted because when the ship is down, these are the people that going to rescue you during your challenges. That is exactly what the Mekel is enjoying with the Super Eagles now.

    He is happy that he made a right decision and he is enjoying himself now. In sha Allah, he’s going to get a new club after the Afcon tournament.

    No matter where you are, don’t forget your home. A word is enough for the wise. Ire o. God bless Nigeria!!!

    • Easy o,b4 it bcomes a frontal attack on whites. U com from Burundi,Niger,Malawi,Mali,Senegal,Ghana..all of una one play for Europe.OK where d European boys go come play?
      I’m not defending dem,buh if we develop futball here,our boys wudnt be running cap-in-hand to Europe.
      You see how Brazilian players are nt necessarily in a hurry to play in Europe,their league is quite decent,dey have a gud futball administration.

      So leave d whites first,we know their racist tendencies,but it’s also because we don’t bring anything to d table. We betray ourselves more than they betray themselves, dats why d whites take advantage of dat. Eg D painful slave trade era,was it not blacks dat where selling their fellow brothers and sisters and mothers into slavery?
      I’m not justifying anything,but let’s be more balanced in judgement.

      Like I have said,d major thing is dat bullying ain’t gud,we shud help our players in anyway possible.

      • Omo9ja 1 year ago

        @Oge, thanks for your matured analysis. You have a good point. Charity begins at home. God bless you. God bless us all. God bless Nigeria!!!

  • I can’t understand why or how it should be down to Mikel to decide if Moses should stay back or go to Olympics. Is Mikel just exagerating his influence or what?

    • Omo9ja 1 year ago

      @Neo, well, sometimes such a thing can happened to anyone. Mosses is not baby.

      Mikel has bn with the club for a while and he knew that he might not going to be playing regularly after the Olympics game because it was a risk he had to take.

      He also knew that if Moses went to the championship, they would benched him as well. Nothing wrong in that to letting him known what might be happening to him if he goes to the Olympics tournament. If they believed in each another why not, he can advise him. God bless Nigeria!!!

    • Chima E Samuels 1 year ago

      Moses needed club title desperately at that moment MikEl on his side has already won what moses lacks. So he choosing Nigeria is to achieve the Olympic gold has never won. Mike is a loyal servant of Nigeria let’s not bad mouth him here abeg.

  • Presh 1 year ago

    Mikel did what’s best by not speaking, he left on a boss man level

  • Pompei 1 year ago

    I was shocked at how committed Mikel was during the Olympics. To the point of spending his personal funds to help out the team. Hate him or love him, I don’t think anyone can deny his commitment to the team over the years. Rumor has it that this Afcon may be Mikel’s swansong for Nigeria. I hope it is not true. But if it is, I hope all the players will rise up as one and fight, so that Mikel can get a suitable send off present – the Afcon trophy.

  • Emma Odes 1 year ago

    Na man u be mikel how many player don put in their own money paying players hotels bills like u did no one i hail u

  • Father Beezy 1 year ago

    I still believe Mikel Obi did what was best for him at Rio 2016. As soon as Ngolo Kante was bought by Chelsea, Mikel knew his chances of playing will be limited (plus the age factor too). So, he decided to go to the Olympics. This is just me but I strongly believe Conte wouldn’t have used him still if he didn’t go for the Olympics.
    Have you asked why Mikel didn’t go to the Olympics in 2008??. I think I will be gullible to believe all Mikel’s claims. #PRstunt

    • That’s how many didn’t believe Henry Onyekuru’s claims. Infact when you call it “claims” you just disfigure the thing.
      Mikel is telling you what happened right there and you are doubting him.I’m not even trying to be patriotic here,clear facts already prove this.
      Secondly,we are saying he didn’t PLAY AT ALL,he definitely would have played some matches, even with the presence of Kante,if he didn’t go to the Olympics.It’s as simple as that.
      So if Mikel didn’t speak, we wouldn’t have known dat he was bullied? How won’t we know? In this world of information!?
      See we have to look out for our players a little bit more abeg.

      • Father Beezy 1 year ago

        I appreciate the fact that you responded in
        a respectful manner. We all have opinions 
        and are entitled to them. Respect