Mikel Obi could be in line for a return to the Super Eagles squad in 2019 after he posted a cryptic message on his Instagram page, @mikel_john_Obi, along with a picture of himself in action for Nigeria with the caption, “Can’t-Wait”.
Mikel has not featured for the Super Eagles since the 2018 FIFA World Cup where he failed to lead the team past the group stages of the Mundial.
The 31-year-old missed Nigeria’s last five games against Seychelles, Libya (home and away), South Africa and Uganda which fueled talks about his
impending retirement from the national team after 13 years.
But Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr insisted in a recent interview with
“Mikel remains in our plans and we all know why he has been out of the team. Mikel Obi will decide if he wants to play at AFCON 2019. He was omitted because of fitness issues, but we will look at his performance before the tournament,” Rohr told Completesports.com.
“The situation with Mikel was that after the FIFA World Cup in Russia he wanted to take a break.”
“He told me he needed rest and motivation. When he is ready, he will be back. Mikel is a fantastic captain.
“We will see what happens in the future. We have a new captain Ahmed Musa and its working well he is young with the right spirit.”
Nigeria’s next major international match is the last 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Seychelles, scheduled for March 22 at a yet to be named home venue.
The Super Eagles are already through to the 2019 AFCON to be hosted by Egypt.
The three-time AFCON champions lead Group E with 10 points from five games and are followed closely by South Africa on nine points, while Libya are third with seven points. Seychelles are rock bottom with just one point.
By Johnny Edward.