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Mikel: Superhuman Messi ‘Stole’ Golden Ball From Me, I Want Revenge

Mikel: Superhuman Messi ‘Stole’ Golden Ball From Me, I Want Revenge

Super Eagles skipper Mikel Obi has claimed Argentina star Lionel Messi “stole” the Golden Ball award from him at the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup held in the Netherlands.
The Flying Eagles faced Argentina in the final but lost 2-1 no thanks to two penalties converted by Messi.
Going into the final, Mikel was tipped to be awarded the Golden Ball for his impressive performances.
Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s crucial Group D Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup clash against Messi-led Argentina side, Mikel in an interview withThe Guardian reflected how he missed out on the Most Valuable Player award.

“Yeah, Messi stole the Golden Ball off me,” Mikel said.“Before the game people said that I was going to win the Golden Ball for being the player of the tournament.

“But then Messi scored twice, both of them penalties, Argentina won 2-1 and I got the Silver Ball. Messi has kept on stealing awards from me!”


Mikel recalled how the Super Eagles were able to beat Argentina 4-2 in last year’s friendly without Messi, positing the South Americans always struggle without their talisman.

“A certain human being wasn’t playing (in last year’s friendly),” Mikel says. “Actually, is he even a human being? Messi is Messi. He decides games and the last time we met he scored two against us at the Brazil World Cup.

“Without him, they are definitely less of a team. We can’t put all our attention on Messi but he is the man that we need to stop. Do we have to put somebody to mark him? Maybe yes, maybe no because when you do that you are playing with less balance.”

The Tianjin Teda midfielder spoke about playing in different midfield positions during his time at Chelsea and for the Super Eagles.

“I was playing as a No 10 before I went to Chelsea but [José] Mourinho converted me to a holding player,” Mikel told The Guardian. “I enjoy it. When I was at Chelsea and there was a national team break, I’d go there and I’d enjoy it. I’d have this one or two weeks of freedom – to express myself and play the way I want. But at Chelsea, I did a job.”

And on the Super Eagles being drawn against Argentina again at the World Cup, Mikel said:

“We knew we would get them. I said to a friend of mine: ‘Trust me, Argentina are going to be in the same group as us.’ It’s crazy. I don’t know why but it keeps happening.”

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  • Chima E Samuels 5 years ago

    2 dubious penalty I remember well this is exactly what fifa refs do against Nigeria when we meet Argentina. So as a country we must stand against this and speak ahead during the media before this match is played because the whole world is watching how messi the all time best maybe will exit or proceed in his last world cup.

  • Abdul andah 5 years ago

    Messi time is up!
    No two ways about it!
    You cant be coming back from behind to steal the show all the time so it’s high time Messi got to know that.

  • Janebrix 5 years ago

    So super eagles is not a job like Chelsea? It’s a break off your job. Freedom to play the way you like.I see. Mikel be careful. Stop hyping Messi. Do that after the match. They should not allow these press to distract them. 

  • Omo9ja 5 years ago

    Exactly what I said here yesterday. The win against Argentina on Tuesday by God’s grace, would hurt them a lot for the rest of their lives. It’s your turn now Mikel. I know say one day, you go make proud Mikel. Up Super Eagles. God bless us all. God bless Nigeria!!!

  • Kweli 5 years ago

    I am 100% with Nigeria. Ahmed Musa also warned Argentina that he will score another brace. Now all these mind games may seem OK, but if we take into account that we are facing a team that has won the WC twice and participated in a total of 4 world cup finals, a little respect and some humility may be in order. Being made to eat your words is nothing pleasant. And that is entirely avoidable by simply playing on the pitch and winning. Now talking after the game to celebrate would be understandable. Just my humble opinion.

  • Mikel pls this is not time to talk. It is time for action. We want u and the entire team to concertrate. Work very hard on set piece and penalty. Mr. Rohr pls talk to ur players. These match is very important to us and african. We dont want any excuse, It is our turn to beat Argentina.

  • Jude Michael 5 years ago

    Go Super Eagles!! I pray and hope they would come out and play an attacking football UNLIKE the Iranians who could have won their game against Spain but missed it out through playing a defensive style of football.

    • Oga if Iran set up was not done that way they would have long lost the game in the first have .abeg been cautious is wisdom but u must match it up with sound athletism and physical fitness wch the Iranians possess in rectless abandon . So SE must watch it like a viper ready to pounce at the slightest opportunity. If they stay focus they Wuld win but if they play to the gallery by trying to express themselves stylishly then am sorry for Eagles bcos they will be beaten blue,black and purple. If they make this mistake of not keeping there shape and discipline.

      • Well said my broda, u nailed it by emphasizing being cautious is wisdom. Whenever our boys start promising victory here and there without kicking a ball yet makes me very wary. Be himble guys, remember tge saying “pride comes b4 a fall”. Anybody that thinks this argentine team are done should think again, they have their pride to play for and will buzzing from the get go. The SE have to be focus for the entire match, complete concentration will be key. No unnecessary fouls close to the 18 yard box, no playing to the gallery, just play matured football like we all know u guys are capable of doing, play for each other and play as a team. Coverup each others lapses, avoid complacency and victory will be ours. The story of this tournament has been own goals, late goals, penalties and set pieces. SE have to maintain their shape at all times. Our defenders can’t be dueling on the ball in our box when we are under attack. Our midfield will have to work very hard to contain the argentines. Am cautiously optimistic that we will qualify. However, if by any means this argentine team navigates this group (God forbid) I see things coming together for them and going very far in this tournament. I pray and hope though that SE will carry the day and put huge smiles on our faces. Like someone said the best way to deal with tgem is mass attack and mass defense like the Croats did to them. Don’t give messi any breathing room. It’s rare that messi will have 2 off days let alone 3 so expect him to want to have a huge day but we can put a dent to his plans by playing a matured game. This game will be a cracker for sure. SE go for the win but if u get a draw it’s not bad as I don’t see Iceland scoring 3 goals without reply against the croats even with some of their key players rested. Vamos SE. we the fans are solidly behind u, 200 MILLION of us. Just my 2 cents.

        God bless 9ja and her people except those useless flank herdsman