John Mikel Obi is set to play his 21st match in AFCON finals when the Super Eagles face newcomers, the Swallows of Burundi, in their first Group A clash of Egypt 2019 at the Alexandria Stadium on Saturday, June 22, Completesports.com reports.
Mikel has scored two goals in the history of AFCON finals, and those were netted in 2-0 wins over Zimbabwe and Benin Republic at Egypt 2006 and Ghana 2008 respectively. And the Eagles captain will be raring to score his third goals in their Egypt 2019 opener.
The midfielder who is back in Nigeria’s national team for the first time since the Super Eagles crashed out of 2018 World Cup in Russia, will be eager to justify his high ratings at the 32nd AFCON finals.
Co-incidentally, though, the 32-year-old might end his international career in the same country, Egypt where he actually participated in his first ever AFCON finals back in 2006.
The Chelsea legend seems to have shifted focus on helping the Super Eagles win the 2019 AFCON, revealing he is “hungry” to a win a second Africa Cup of Nations trophy.
Mikel won his first AFVON winners’ medal six years (2013) ago in South Africa after helping Eagles to finish third in the 2006 and 2010 editions.
In Egypt, Mikel will lead a young team with majority of the players making their first AFCON finals appearance.
The former Chelsea star made his Eagles debut in August, 2005 against Libya and Egypt 2019 tournament may well be his last with the national team, according to the midfield veteran himself.
Three-time champions Nigeria are making her 18th AFCON finals appearance in Egypt. The Super Eagles won their first title on home soil in 1980 and added the second at Tunisia 1994.
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